Why Solar for Farmers & Growers 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 farmers and growers 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 for Farmers & Growers

In addition to taxing the state’s power grid during peak demand periods, electricity costs farmers 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 farmers 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 Faria Farms in Tipton, CA

Faria Farms built a 2 megawatt solar energy system that delivers power across multiple contiguous properties, taking advantage of California’s Net Metering Aggregation to bundle power for 27 metered facilities, from remote pumps to large buildings.

“With solar energy, we are able to achieve economic and environmental sustainability at the same time.”

More About This Project

Farmers and growers 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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