California may have perfect weather and picturesque beaches, but we also have notoriously high energy costs. In this high-energy cost state, solar power and agriculture have recently come together to lessen the burden for growers across the state. In fact, many in the agriculture industry in California have found that installing solar panels might be the answer to their sky-rocketing energy costs due to various policy mandates and resource limitations.
Like homeowners, farmers also have access to rebates and incentives for solar panel installation, making solar power a viable option for supporting the robust energy requirements of both small and large-scale agricultural operations. In addition, solar project prices have fallen in recent years, causing many to choose solar power instead of traditional options.
At the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers’ annual meeting, Tom Millhoff of HelioPower stated:
“There’s a very good chance that if you’re in agribusiness you can save a lot of money with solar. And a lot of people who looked at solar two or three years ago and found that it didn’t pencil for them should probably think about reconsidering. Project prices have fallen about 20 percent in that time, and new policies such as meter aggregation are allowing growers and food processors and food handlers to install solar in creative ways and reduce loads in ways they might not have been able to previously.”
An added benefit for those in the agriculture business is the ability to sell expensive energy and buy back cheap energy, by becoming a “net generator.”
As Millhoff explained, “Today you could put a solar facility on fallow land or on a roof at one location, and you can generate a bill credit or offset your energy load at a remote location without sacrificing those crops. A common approach in California is for a producer to become a net generator of energy and send electricity back on to the grid during the day when energy is expensive and buy them back at night.”
From food producers to “agritourism,” those within the agriculture industry have finally found an eco-friendly, cost-effective solution to our state’s high-cost energy problem.
Whether you’re transitioning your agritourism business to solar energy, or you’d like to install a residential solar system on your San Diego home, contact Mohler Solar today for a free quote to get started.