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Categorized | Green Building, Industry News

The Benefits of Solar Power for the Agricultural Industry

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California is quickly becoming the solar capital in the United States with 72,000 systems in the state generating an estimated 724 megawatts of power. Agriculture is embracing solar just as rapidly as other industries and municipalities. Why?

Solar energy systems have low maintenance costs and the fuel is free once the higher initial cost of the system is recovered through subsidies and energy savings. According to the USDA On-Farm Energy Production Survey, solar panels have been the most prominent way to produce on-farm renewable energy.

“Agricultural solar systems are more affordable and efficient than before,” explains Jay Johnson, CEO and Co-Founder of Sun Pacific Solar Electric, Inc., who has been designing and installing solar systems since 1996. “Solar powered agricultural pumping power systems can save money, increase self-reliance, reduce pollution, and provide irrigation during daylight hours when farms need it the most. Ranchers can also provide fresh water for livestock with agricultural solar water pumping.”

The sun’s rays can be used to generate electricity, warm homes and livestock buildings, and provide hot water for pen cleaning. Photovoltaic (PV) panels are a highly reliable and low maintenance option for electric fences, lights, and water pumps.

Although electric and fuel prices will always increase, clients using solar power can enjoy the security against all rising energy costs.  Some benefits include:

  • Saves or eliminates fuel and maintenance costs
  • No generators, inverters, grid interconnections, or batteries are required
  • Increased pump reliability
  • Systems qualify for 30% federal tax cuts

Sun Pacific Solar Electric, Inc. is the top provider of solar panel installation and service in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo counties. Last year their work was featured in the Santa Barbara Contractors Magazine for an historical project and they have provided solar power for the Santa Barbara Search & Rescue Radio Repeater Station, Bishop Diego High School, and Figueroa Mountain Lookout Station.

North County lenders including Community West Bank and Cal Coastal Rural Loans, and the USDA Farm Service Agency have recognized the benefits of solar power for agricultural customers and recently sponsored a workshop to introduce area growers, vintners and others to their new solar water transporting process and discuss financing options. “We thought businesses in our area, particularly agricultural operations using lots of water and power, would be interested in a new process which can conserve on both,” said Mike Kirkwood, Vice President for Commercial Lending for Community West Bank.

To learn more about this company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, check out their profile on BuildZoom.



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