Solar for Farms
Outbuildings, barns, and other site structures contribute to why farms are inherently terrific solar sites. Roofs with a lot of square footage and large, unused areas of land are also typically ideal locations for solar energy systems which offset the high costs of daily power usage. In many instances, the USDA also offers grants and funding for agricultural solar systems, dramatically reducing the overall system cost.
Agricultural Application for Solar Energy
Solar energy can provide a cheaper remote electricity supply than wires or generators.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are often a cheaper option than new electric lines for providing power to remote locations. And because they require no fuel and have no moving parts, they are more convenient to operate and maintain than diesel or gasoline generators. PV systems can be more economical than traditional remote electricity systems in as little as a 50-foot distance from a power source.
PV systems are a highly reliable and low-maintenance option for electric fences, lights and water pumps. Although current solar panel prices could be too expensive for many crop irrigation systems, photovoltaic systems are economical for remote livestock water supply, pond aeration, and small irrigation systems. In addition, the cost of PV is projected to decline significantly over time, which will make more applications cost-effective.
When it comes to implementing solar energy on agricultural properties, water pumping is one of the easiest and most logical applications. Solar-powered water pumping can irrigate crops, stock watering and contribute to domestic usage or other water needs. In most cases these systems are able to assist in water storage for when the sun’s not shining. This eliminates the need for battery packs and simplifies the process and total costs of the system.