REC Solar slashes energy
costs for California farms
Feb 28, 2013 10:07 AM
REC Solar Inc has completed solar energy systems for two California farms totaling one megawatt of electricity. Peter Rabbit Farms in Coachella and Amaral Ranches in the Imperial Valley have joined the ranks of growers, cold storage, and food processing facilities that are “harvesting the sun” to hedge against rising electricity costs and save money.
With the completion of these systems, Peter Rabbit Farms and Amaral Ranches align with more than 300 California farmers and ranchers now using solar energy to reduce utility bills. Agriculture represents nearly 30% of California’s commercial solar capacity, according to PV Solar Report, and experts anticipate the sector will continue to gain strength.
Peter Rabbit Farms, a fourth-generation family-run farm that grows carrots, lettuce, table grapes, and other vegetables, worked with REC Solar to install a 358-kilowatt solar system that provides enough power to offset 40% of its energy use and save an estimated $80,000 off yearly utility bills. The system is already providing power at 100% of its projected production rate.
REC Solar also worked with Amaral Ranches—a family-owned farm that grows cabbage, corn, and watermelon—to install a 605-kilowatt system that provides enough power to offset more than 70% of Amaral Ranches’ growing and cold storage operations. The project was financed by Rabobank NA, a community bank that provides solar financing to California farms, businesses, and public organizations. With the solar array, Amaral Ranches takes advantage of its relatively dormant summer season to sell power back to the utility to offset costs during the more energy-intensive harvest and planting seasons. The system, which received the first solar permit for agricultural land in Imperial County, is already producing energy at 105% the rate of projected energy production.
Beside Peter Rabbit and Amaral Ranches, REC Solar has supported solar energy adoption for more than two dozen large and small growers in California, including two table grape growers in Delano. Castle Rock Vineyards and VBZ Grapes each worked with REC Solar to install 1.1-megawatt ground-mounted systems that were among the world’s largest agricultural facility installations upon completion.
A subsidiary of Mainstream Energy Corporation, REC Solar has installed more than 9,000 systems nationwide in excess of 140 megawatts. Visit www.RECSolar.com for further details.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
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