Farm4Profit Podcast

Shading Livestock from the Sun and Harvesting the Sun's Energy

Episode Summary

Today, we're demystifying solar energy. Wondering how it works? Solar panels generate energy seamlessly integrated with your operation and utility, saving you thousands on electricity bills. But what about the costs and incentives? We've got you covered. Tune in to learn why now is the perfect time to go solar and the step-by-step process to get started. Let's harness the power of the sun for your farm's future!

Episode Notes


Strobel Shades

How does solar work?

Solar panels generate DC energy that is sent to an inverter that converts it to AC energy that you

can use for your home or business. The system is integrated with your operation and utility

making everything seamless. No need for any crazy upgrades to integrate solar. Any excess

energy that you are not using at the time will be sent back to the grid and you will build credits.

When the sun sets you will use the credits that you build up.

○ Let's clarify what we do. We are not involved in “solar farms utility grade” WE DO NOT


○ We help offset the cost of electricity of operations by installing solar that is connected to

the grid. Depending on the interconnection agreement the solar system can offset


○ You will still get a power bill but reduced. Saving thousands of dollars every month.


Why should farmers invest in solar?

The biggest motivation to go solar is the money the farmers can save by reducing monthly power bills and

freeing up capital that can be diverted elsewhere or added to the bottom line.

Solar Incentives


50% Total Project up to 1 Million dollars

Investment Tax Credit

30% Tax Credit - This goes against your tax liability. It can carry back 3 years or carry forward up to 22

years.New law has passed that you can sell the tax credits as well.

Depreciation- A solar energy system is classified as farm equipment.

There are also bonus credits depending on location.

How much does a solar energy system cost?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option for solar. Every system is unique. There are many factors to consider.

This would include whether it will be roof mounted or ground mounted. How much trenching,

wiring,conduit, panel count,inverter count and specific engineering. The great news is that panel prices

have dropped in price and will remain flat for a long time. When you add up all the incentives and they

can be applied, the incentives pay for the entire project.

What is an interconnection agreement?

The agreement establishes all the terms and conditions associated with operating the customer's solar

system in parallel with the utility's electric power system.


Every electricity company is different.

Especially in rural areas. A lot of these terms and conditions haven’t been updated since the 1980s.


What size solar energy system will my farm need?

Accuracy is absolutely imperative in order to set realistic expectations. We use the most recent 12

months worth of utility data and analyze everything. This ranges from energy pattern, rate structure,

demand charges, on and off peak. We use sophisticated technology to analyze ROI, IRR, payback

period and 25 year savings. Also a financial model is presented along with any type of loan option if one

is requested. We even take a look at the last 30 years of historical weather data in the exact location of

the project. Attention to every detail is important for someone to have the best experience possible.

Why go solar now? Won't the technology be cheaper down the road?

There has never been a better time to pursue a solar project. The panel technology is so efficient that

future technology will be incremental. The alignment of incentives and grants has made this investment a

no brainer. There is no other piece of farm equipment that has a 30% tax credit and a grant that can

cover up to 50% of the cost. The reality of the grant is we don't know the future of the grant in 2025. It is

possible that it can be reduced or stay the same. The fact is it would be a gamble to wait.

What is the process for going solar?

Evaluation of Project

Contract Execution

Engineering Design

Permitting & Interconnection


Equipment Procurement

Installation & Commission

Long-Term O&M and


Will solar panels power my building when the grid is down?

These systems are interconnected with the grid. If the grid goes down the solar shuts down. This is a

safety measure with the utility company. There cannot be any live power while the lineman are working to

fix any grid issues. This is where a battery backup can be introduced. Battery technology is still very new

and the prices will come down over the years. This should be the last resort considering all farms have