Why Solar for Agriculture in California Makes Sense

Did you know solar technology costs have fallen by more than 50% since 2015?

As the price of solar technology continues to fall, it’s worth taking a second look at solar for agriculture businesses in California. With one of the sunniest climates in the country, and among the nation’s highest electricity rates, solar energy can pay for itself in just a few years. According to the California Energy Commission, “California is an agricultural cornucopia to the nation and the world. To produce, process and store more than 200 food and fiber crops, the state’s farmers consume four percent of the state’s electricity.”

High Electricity Costs in Agriculture

In addition to taxing the state’s power grid during peak demand periods, electricity costs ag businesses money, with many large producers facing monthly bills of $100,000 or more. The opportunity to reduce or eliminate these costs is extremely attractive, as are the environmental sustainability benefits for businesses that rely on the soil, water and air to make a living.

ROI for Solar Energy

With high energy prices, abundant sunshine, falling solar technology prices, and state and federal financial incentives, the return on investment (ROI) for solar energy for California ag businesses keeps getting better. Some are taking advantage of zero-down financing to reduce costs and enjoy fixed energy bills for decades; while others are purchasing systems and finding the payback period can be as short as a few years.

Economic and Environmental Sustainability

Sustainability doesn’t just apply to the environment, however. Businesses need to be economically sustainable as well. “In agriculture, you’re always thinking about how to be sustainable,” Mike Faria of Faria Farms in Tipton, California. “We started thinking about solar when our electricity bills started to rise dramatically. We want to be here tomorrow.”

NEMA (aka the Game-Changer)

Net Energy Metering Aggregation (NEMA) has the potential to dramatically accelerate the ROI on solar for agriculture businesses in California. Many farms, dairies and orchards have widely distributed facilities–pump stations, homes, production facilities, barns, storage buildings and more. With NEMA, a single solar power plant can offset all electricity used by the business, provided the property is contiguous.

Solar Power for Holland Dairy in Hanford, CA

Holland Dairy owner Art De Hoop has always valued quality and integrity. He knew once the electricity bills became too high, it was time to install solar. Powering 750 acres, Coldwell Solar has provided Holland Dairy the solar energy system they needed to be sustainable and successful for many years to come.

“It feels good to harvest energy from the sun, reduce our impact on the environment and to do it with good people.”

More About This Project

Ag businesses throughout California trust Coldwell Solar to build the most reliable and most durable solar installations specifically designed to perform in agricultural environments.

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