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How Can Farms Benefit From Solar Energy?
July 8, 2021
Solar energy is not just for residential, commercial, or office buildings. It is extremely beneficial for farms, wineries, breweries, and many other agriculture setups. Solar power system installation for farms can help increase productivity and decrease energy costs. It can also be beneficial for the environment as it is a natural, renewable energy source. On a global scale, it can help mitigate climate change, decrease pollution, reduce water scarcity, and improve health standards.
Financial Incentives For Solar Farming
The number of farms and agricultural businesses looking to go solar for their daily operations is growing. This is because of the numerous benefits of implementing solar energy in agricultural areas. However, the cost of solar panel installation appears daunting for farm owners and makes them hesitate to make the switch. Fortunately, the Canadian federal government is offering solar incentives to its population.
Thanks to their Climate Action Incentive Fund, small and medium-sized businesses in Saskatchewan are offered rebates ranging from 20,000- 250,000 dollars which is up to 25% of project costs. This has resulted in a decline in the cost of going solar, enabling more solar panel installations across the country.
Why Solar Powering Farms Makes Sense
The newest generation of solar panel systems allow efficient harnessing of solar energy from the sun. In return, its energy output provides the agricultural land with a cleaner and more natural source of power.
Crops require a good amount of sunlight for their growth, and the average farm in the Saskatchewan countryside is already located in a place that allows lucrative solar harnessing. Solar energy can significantly reduce your utility bills and cut back the operation cost of livestock shelters and greenhouses.
Benefits Of Co-Locating Solar & Crop Production
Switching to solar farming means that you will become a solar developer in addition to a farmer. This will provide you with countless perks that will benefit your farm, your community, and even the rest of the world. These include:
Reduced Installation Costs
Using agricultural land that was previously tilled or disturbed may help you prevent the need for expensive grading that is generally done to flatten the land to a usable level.
Reduced Upfront Risk
The cost of solar panel installation can increase due to the geotechnical risks involved. This is due to the increased testing needs to eliminate such risks efficiently. Solar installers deem agricultural land that was previously tilled to be the “least risky option.”
Reduced Legal Risk
During the environmental review process, rural solar installers can significantly minimize any risks of upfront litigation by using previously disturbed or tilled land.
Increase Solar Performance
Vegetation or farming under solar systems or modules can contribute to increasing solar performance and lower soil temperatures.
Benefits To Agricultural Land Managers
- Reduced electricity costs
- Revenue stream diversification
- Increased ability to grow high-value & shade-resistant crops
- Better crop production during solar generation
- Allows land and nutrient recharge of degraded lands
- Water use reduction potential
- Extension of the growing season
- Marketing opportunity to the sustainability-mindful audience
Temperature Effect Of Solar Systems
Solar panel systems do not cause your crops to heat up or dry out. Quite contrary to this belief, solar power installation provides shade to your vegetation and crops underneath, keeping them cool during the day and warm at night. According to research, these temperature differences cancel out, which means that the daily crop temperatures were similar under solar systems, unlike crops that are directly under sunlight. It also had no negative impact on crop growth rates.
Switching your farm from conventional energy to solar power is a big investment. However, government incentives such as tax credits and solar rebates help in cost saving. Moreover, its environmental, financial, and operational benefits are worth making the switch to solar farming.
At Sundawg Solar, we provide quality solar energy system installation in Saskatchewan. We can help your home, business, or farm become more sustainable and energy-efficient. Contact us for more information regarding solar power system installation and other services.