What Are the Benefits of Solar Energy for Farms?

November 23, 2020

We often associate solar energy with homes, and perhaps even office buildings in this day and age. After all, it does account for about 1.6% of all American electricity generation. But in the past, it may have seemed quite inaccessible for those working within agriculture. This may have been unfortunate, as farms in particular need quite a bit of electricity, and if solar energy benefits homeowners, it may benefit farms much more. That's why, as agricultural solar systems become more common, farmers need to consider whether it not it's right for them.

The issue for some, of course, may be that they're used to one form of energy production, and are hesitant to try another. After all, you need to know that you can rely on electricity to power your farm, and if you've never experienced solar energy before, you may not be sure that you can trust it. That's why we're trying to give you some reassurance today by discussing the benefits of solar energy and why you may want to look into finding a commercial solar installation company IN farmers trust.

What Is the REAP Grant?

One reason why farmers are considering solar energy in a way that they may not have before is the REAP grant. The REAP grant was created to help farmers by incentivizing them to switch to solar energy. Technically, the grant is not only meant for farmers. It can also be used by winery and brewery owners, as they often function in a similar agricultural setting. The overall extending REAP program is funded by both grants and loans and can end up covering about 75% of a farm's overall solar energy costs. The goal is to essentially take away a lot of the financial concerns that a farmer may have about trying solar energy.

Whenever you make a switch from one energy source to another, there can be some initial costs involved. But the REAP program makes that initial installation and some maintenance costs, like the cost of future solar equipment, more accessible. A business must have at least 50% of their total gross income funded by agriculture to qualify for a REAP grant, which is obviously easy for farmers to verify. In fact, business does not have to be located in a rural area to qualify for a grant, which means that those who farm in less rural areas can also consider renewable energy.

Is Solar Energy Financially Feasible for Farmers?

One of the main misconceptions about solar energy is that it's too expensive for farmers to consider. The reality is that, after the initial installation, solar energy is actually more financially beneficial for farmers than other forms of energy. There is the potential for a major reduction of utility costs. As previously mentioned, it costs a lot of money to keep a farm running; the more that you can cut down energy costs, the easier it will be for you to maintain your farm for the long term. After a commercial solar installation company IN farmers trust is finished with installing your solar panels, you can not only cut your energy spending but also claim 30% of the purchase price as a federal tax credit.

Another major benefit of solar energy is that it basically keeps your energy costs locked in one space. While other types of energy tend to rise in cost over the years, solar energy really doesn't change much over the years. So, if you're spending less on your solar energy now, you'll continue to save money for the foreseeable future. Solar panels also increase the value of your property, which means that if you decide to sell your farm in the future, you may be able to profit more off of the property thanks to your investment in solar energy. But if you're keeping your farm for the long term, you can incorporate your use of solar energy in its marketing, as consumers want to patronize "green" farms.

Consider getting in touch with a commercial solar installation company IN farmers can rely on. You may be surprised by how much you can get out of solar energy for your farm!