Article Solar Installation

Solar Offers a Wealth of Opportunities for Agriculture

Solar energy presents a wealth of opportunities for the agriculture sector, particularly for hog farmers and large grain bin drying operations. With modern agriculture being incredibly energy intensive, rising and fluctuating costs can significantly impact the bottom line. Thankfully, solar energy – combined with a variety of tax incentives and credits – can provide a range of benefits that address these concerns and more.

Reduce your energy costs.

One of the most appealing benefits of solar power is its potential for significant cost reduction. After an initial investment in solar panels and their setup, the energy solar panels produce is essentially free as there is minimal required maintenance, thanks to no moving parts. There are 25-year warranties on most system components such as modules, giving you two to three decades of consistent energy savings after the initial investment has been recouped.

Forecast your energy costs.

As part of a sector where profit margins can be slim, farmers know the value of stability. Solar offers predictable energy costs, as solar energy isn't subject to the same price fluctuations as traditional energy sources. Recent weather events and rising inflation have resulted in utility companies implementing more frequent rate and higher rate increases than in the past. Solar allows for more accurate budgeting and financial planning, making it easier to manage and forecast expenses.

Shrink your carbon footprint.

Solar energy also aligns with the natural environmental stewardship inherent in farming. By using clean, renewable energy, farmers can reduce their carbon footprint, which is becoming increasingly valued in the marketplace by today’s consumers. Solar not only benefits the environment, but also helps to preserve beautiful landscapes for future generations.

Recoup project costs with credits, grants, and other incentives.

The federal government has become increasingly supportive of renewable energy efforts. There is currently a 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) available. For farmers/businesses who may not have tax liability, there are a variety of financing options available to help pass along those savings to them. The USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. These grants can cover up to 50% of the eligible project costs, making solar energy an even more attractive investment. Additionally, many utilities offer programs such as net metering, which allows you to send excess energy your panels generate back to the grid, earning you credit you can use to offset the cost of electricity you pull from the grid in the future. When all these incentives are taken together, a solar array can pay for itself in a couple of years.

Partner with experts to invest in a brighter future.

At Nelnet Renewable Energy, we understand the unique challenges faced by the agricultural community, and we're committed to providing tailored solar solutions to meet your specific needs. We have a team of dedicated professionals who will guide you through every step of the process, from system design to installation and maintenance.

Adopting solar energy is an investment in a sustainable future. It provides a route to more predictable financial management, lessens our environmental impact, and in many cases, can even contribute to your income. We hope you'll join us in this commitment to solar-powered agriculture.

Discover how we can help you reap the benefits of solar.

We can help your farm take advantage of tax incentives and grants to recoup solar project costs, find predictable energy cost savings and energy independence, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Explore Our Commercial Solutions

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About the Author

Lewis Butler

National Sales Manager

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