Renewable energy is a big topic, whether you’re a farmer or not. Farmers can install solar in their fields to help them lower their energy costs. Jake West of VanWall Energy shares with me just how farmers can benefit from the technology.

We have found that pork producers use a lot of electricity to raise hogs. And so solar fits in great with that because we can show them how to make an investment with solar to lower one of their higher input costs and make their operation more profitable and more competitive and also reduce the risk of rising electric prices affecting the operation down the road.

And we know that the word profitability is a buzzword in this industry. So how can solar help achieve that?

Yeah, so solar, basically, is an upfront investment. And I had one gentleman tell me, ‘Jake, I'm a fourth-year generation farmer. I'm putting this in and making this investment for the next generation’.

 

And so what he was talking about is, he's willing to make that upfront investment, take advantage of some tax credits, both on the federal and here in Iowa on the stateside, and appreciation to save money.

 

So rather than writing a check to the utility, they're just putting that money in their own pocket or paying off their system sooner. So that's what makes them more profitable. And within decision without investment, you know, solar is a 30-year product, so it should last 30 years. So it's a long-term, low maintenance product.

And while this week, Jake is focusing on the impacts on pork producers, the benefits are transferable to other industries.

So, I usually say anybody that pays more than $300 a month for electricity, it'd be a good fit. It also depends on the utility or other factors. But yeah, besides hog farming, there's poultry farming, chickens, turkeys, grain operations. We've done projects for co-ops. So, in reality, really anybody that has a pretty sizable electric bill. Solar can be a good fit.

 

Check out my conversation with Jake:

 

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