Farms going solar a growing trend in Illinois
Farm owner Brad Edler of Fults, Illinois, was studying the numbers, trying to figure out if a solar installation at his farm would make good financial sense.
“I ran the numbers and it came out pretty good,” Edler told the Monroe County Republic-Times.
Those financial savings are part of the reason why Edler and his brother Brian, who farms property in nearby Valmeyer, Illinois, are part of a growing trend: farms going solar.
“There are many reasons we are seeing the number of farm owners installing solar increasing,” said Marcia Lochmann of StraightUp Solar, which has installed 1,000 solar arrays in Illinois and Missouri. “But at the end of the day, they tell us it comes down to a couple of factors, mainly that it’s great for their bottom line and it lines up with values like self-reliance and independence.”
Critical to making solar work for farms are a knowledge of farming communities and the values they hold and expertise in the financing of projects to help farm owners find the maximum savings possible.
“At StraightUp Solar, we recognize how important it is to be members of the communities we serve. We are a small business operating in, and staffed by, people from rural Illinois and Missouri. Several of our team members have a family background in farming,” said Lochmann.
And as for the financial aspects of solar for farms, “Our experience and expertise comes from more than 1,000 solar energy systems installed under the same ownership in the same region for over a decade.”
So why does solar make financial sense for family farms?
It improves cash flow by lowering the cost of operations.
- Right now, the switch to solar is supported by significant government incentives:
- Federal 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) – turns tax liability into a capital investment.
- Federal five-year MACRS depreciation
- Competitive annual USDA REAP Grants (funding up to 25% of project cost).
- Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) cash payments available in Illinois.
Solar power fosters energy independence for your farm by stabilizing the electricity rate.
And it’s an investment that helps keep the farm in the family for the next generation.
If you’re interested in joining the movement of farms going solar, please contact a member of the StraightUp Solar team using the form below to schedule your free solar assessment.