These Little Piggies Went Solar
Pork producers across Illinois are investing in solar technology. Why? Solar generation matches very well with hog production systems. In the summer, such systems need many fans ventilating the hog buildings and at the same time there are more hours of sun in the day and solar technology produces more energy. Solar technology enables hog farmers to stabilize their bottom line and increase their competitive edge while improving the environment by shifting to using less fossil fuel.
One hog farm in northwestern Illinois finding savings in solar is Biddle Farms, a 60-year old, multi-generational family farm in Joy, Illinois. Biddle Farms grows corn and soybeans, and grows all of their own feed for their hog farm operations. Striving to operate as financially and environmentally sustainable as possible, Biddle Farms installed two solar arrays on their pork producing feedmill and finishing properties. A 316.4 kW solar array provides electricity to Biddle Farms feedmill, while another 49.7 kW solar array provides electricity for the Biddle Farms finisher.
When asked about her experience working with StraightUp Solar, Miranda Biddle said, “Our farm already operates under a sustainable model. Finding a more sustainable source for energy was a natural next step for our farm. Solar was a perfect fit, especially with the current financial incentive programs being offered in Illinois. We were looking at putting in a larger system and from the first encounter with StraightUp Solar they knew all of the regulations and steps our system would have to adhere to. Not only were they incredibly knowledgeable about the entire solar process, but they were also friendly and easy to work with.”
Creasey Farms and the Herndon Farms in western Illinois are also great examples of hog farmers embracing solar. Creasey Farms went solar at their hog finisher in Macomb, Illinois. After the Creaseys installed their 67.2 kW solar array, their neighbors over at Herndon Farms took notice. Inspired by Creasey Farms’ solar array, Herndon Farms built a solar array for their hog finisher identical to the Creasey’s.
Combined, these four systems will save an estimated $54,274 in electricity costs during the first year of operation. Over 30 years, these agribusiness owners will be able to stabilize their bottom line and reinvest a collective estimated $1,676,628 in their businesses while reducing the amount of carbon emissions that will be released into the atmosphere.
These systems will collectively prevent an estimated 503.7 metric tons of carbon emissions from being released to the atmosphere each year.
So what are the financial tools available to help farmers go solar? Check out our blog Farmers Harvest the Sun for Low Energy Costs for more information. If you are a farmer who is ready to get a free, no-obligation solar quote, please visit our website to Request a Quote. Shine On, farming community!