Solar Energy Systems for MN Agriculture

Solar Panel Design + Installation for Agriculture in Minnesota

Farming and agriculture have been a bedrock of our country for hundreds of years. Farms supply our growing population with countless products: nutritional food, materials for textiles, fuels, and more. In turn, the progression of industry and our population growth are causing an increased demand for high-yield crops and well-bred livestock at a time when climate change is challenging farmers’ livelihoods. Many farmers who hope to slow the effects of fossil fuel usage and harmful emissions are looking to solar energy. Commercial solar panel installations for agricultural businesses help business owners power their farms while saving money and decreasing their environmental impact. If you haven’t ever thought about using solar power for agricultural purposes, here are some compelling benefits to consider.

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Power Your Agricultural Business with Solar in Minnesota

Anything on your farm that is currently powered or charged with electricity can be switched over to run on energy from solar panels. From irrigation systems to livestock fences to milk processing equipment, solar energy powers it all. Not to mention, the energy produced by solar panels will cost you pennies on the dollar compared to grid energy. In fact, your system can actually become profitable when you sell surplus energy back to your power company!

Solar Panels for Crop Farmers in Minnesota

Delicate crops thrive under solar panel arrays. By growing crops under solar panels for farms, you can help shield the plants from dry, drought-like conditions in the heat of the summer. And here’s another benefit of using solar power: freestanding solar panels for agriculture also regulate the soil temperature underneath them by absorbing the sunlight before it reaches the ground; this is great for farmers who want to extend the growing season for cool weather plants.

Any Agricultural Business Can Benefit from Solar Energy!

Oversize Solar Array

Of course, one of the key benefits of solar energy for agricultural businesses is cost savings. Farms have substantial energy demands, especially for irrigation, livestock operations, and processing equipment. By generating their own electricity from solar panels, farms can significantly reduce their dependence on the grid and lower their energy bills. Over time, the savings can be substantial, allowing farmers to allocate resources to other critical aspects of their operations.

Solar power also provides energy independence for agricultural businesses. Farms often operate in remote areas where grid access may be limited or unreliable. By generating their own electricity, farmers can maintain the continuity of their operations even during power outages or disruptions, ensuring that critical functions like livestock care and irrigation can continue uninterrupted.

Furthermore, solar energy is environmentally friendly, promoting sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. Agriculture is a sector highly dependent on fossil fuels, whether for powering equipment or transporting goods. By transitioning to solar energy, agricultural businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment.

In addition to the financial and environmental benefits, solar energy systems can increase the overall value of the property. A solar installation demonstrates a commitment to sustainable practices, which can be appealing to buyers and investors. It also positions agricultural businesses as leaders in adopting clean energy solutions, enhancing their reputation and market competitiveness.

When considering solar energy for agricultural businesses, it’s important to consult with experienced Minnesota solar installers who specialize in the unique needs of the agricultural sector. They can guide farmers through the entire process, from initial assessment and system design to installation and ongoing maintenance.

Cedar Creek Energy offers expertise in designing and installing solar solutions for agricultural businesses. Our team of professionals understands the specific requirements of farms and can tailor solar systems to meet individual needs. With our guidance, agricultural businesses can harness the power of the sun to drive their operations, reduce costs, and contribute to a sustainable future.

FAQs about Solar for Agriculture

How can solar energy benefit agricultural operations in Minnesota?

Solar energy can significantly reduce energy costs for farmers by generating clean electricity to power various operations, such as irrigation systems, grain drying, and livestock facilities. It offers long-term energy savings, enhances energy independence, and promotes environmental sustainability.

What types of solar systems are suitable for agricultural use in Minnesota?
Agricultural operations in Minnesota can benefit from various solar systems, including rooftop solar panels, ground-mounted arrays, and solar canopies. The choice depends on available space, energy needs, and specific requirements of the farm.
Are there financial incentives available for installing solar panels on farms?
Yes, there are several financial incentives available for agricultural solar installations in Minnesota. These include federal tax credits, state-specific rebates, grants, and low-interest loans. Additionally, solar systems can offer long-term financial benefits through reduced energy costs and potential revenue from excess energy generation.
Will installing solar panels affect agricultural operations or land use?
Solar panels can be installed on roofs, unused land, or in combination with agricultural activities, minimizing interference with farming operations. Proper system design and planning ensure minimal impact on land use while maximizing solar energy generation.
Can solar panels provide power during grid outages on farms?
Yes, solar systems can be equipped with energy storage solutions, such as batteries, which allow farms to access stored solar energy during power outages. This helps ensure continuity of critical operations, such as livestock care, refrigeration, and water pumping.
How do solar systems impact the environment on agricultural lands?
Solar systems contribute to a cleaner environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional energy sources. They have a small physical footprint, allowing for continued agricultural use around and beneath the panels. Proper land management practices can also support biodiversity and soil health.
Will solar panels withstand Minnesota's harsh weather conditions?
Solar panels are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including snow, hail, and wind. They are built with durable materials and undergo rigorous testing to ensure durability and performance in extreme climates.
Can I sell excess solar energy back to the grid as a farm owner?
Yes, farmers can participate in net metering programs, which allow them to feed excess solar energy back into the electrical grid, offsetting their energy consumption and potentially earning credits or compensation from the utility company.
Are there any specific regulations or permits required for agricultural solar installations in Minnesota?
Agricultural solar installations may require permits and compliance with local building codes and zoning regulations. It is essential to consult with local authorities and work with experienced solar installers who can guide you through the necessary regulatory processes.
How can I determine if solar energy is a viable option for my agricultural operation?
Consult with experienced solar energy providers, such as Cedar Creek Energy, who can conduct a comprehensive assessment of your farm, evaluate energy needs, potential savings, and available incentives. We can guide you through the entire process, from initial evaluation to system design and installation.
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Financing + Rebates

Take full advantage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Among other climate-positive initiatives, the IRA’s new Investment Tax Credit is game-changing for MN businesses considering a solar power installation or a string of solar projects over the coming years. 

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EPC Services

We design, install, and operate commercial solar PV arrays throughout the Midwest and have over 17 years of demonstrated experience with large, complex solar arrays. Learn more about our EPC Services online or by calling 763-334-6406.

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Power Purchase Agreements

Minnesota businesses can convert to solar powered energy systems without tying up funds in a capital investment, or having any operating and maintenance costs, while cutting what they pay for electricity as they reduce their carbon footprint. This is done with a Power Purchase Agreement.

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Operation + Maintenance

A critical component to maximizing your sunshine power is making sure you have a solid operation and maintenance agreement in place. At Cedar Creek Energy, we provide a suite of services that support green energy and sustainable building practices.

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Solar Energy in Agriculture: Cost Effective and Eco-Friendly

Due to numerous state and federal solar programs and grants, you will likely have little to no upfront cost when installing an agricultural solar system. Without high start-up costs to consider, your panels will begin saving you money on power right away! And a payment towards your solar equipment will, in many cases, be substantially lower than what you were paying monthly for grid power. 

Farmers know it best: powering an agricultural business takes a lot of energy. You pour you own personal energy into your farm, but you also rely on grid power to keep things running. In a sadly ironic twist, the use of grid energy to power your farm may be contributing to the climate challenges many crop and livestock farmers face each season. Luckily, solar energy is an easily implemented, profitable solution, and Cedar Creek Energy is at the ready to design an energy system for your farm!

Contact Cedar Creek Energy’s commercial solar professionals to learn more about installing a solar energy system for your agriculture business.

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