If you’ve ever wondered what a 52-panel solar array looks like, check out this image:
That’s our daughter Ali, standing underneath the solar panels with one of our farm dogs, Carmelo. The solar panels are situated right smack in the center of the farm: east of the hoop house, south of one of our rotational grazing pastures, and in the middle of one of our favorite layer hen pastures. The 10kW grid-tie-in system will generate enough sustainable energy to power the entire farm operation, including refrigeration, processing, lighting, heating, intern trailers and our irrigation water pump.
A big “thank you” goes to San Miguel Power Assoc. and the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program grants and rebates. Without their support this project would not have been possible. In essence, what we’ve built is a small renewable power generator for our large, regional electrical cooperative. The USDA, meanwhile, through a program funded by the current administration, realizes the importance of renewable energy for the sustainability of farming and ranching in the USA.
So, now we not only use the sun for growing plants and vegetables, but also to provide renewable, sustainable energy for the farm operation. Wow, does that feel good!!!