Farm goes green to tackle rising electricity prices!

4 Oct

A farmer in Iowa has decided to tackle growing electricity prices head on by going green. The Jensen’s of Exira have decided to invest in a rising trend tapping into the very same power that helps their crops develop. Alan and Maureen have been farming for decades and have developed 2,400 acres of corn and soybeans, as well as raising 9,000 pigs. At present their main concern is the increasing energy bills which will greatly impact their big operation.

Alan Jensen says, “We use a lot of electricity with all the livestock and the grain that we have to handle and we kept seeing the rates go up higher and higher, almost to the point where it`s unaffordable,”. The Jensen’s farm were receiving electricity bills that averaged at $1,000 per month and they quickly realised the figure would continue to rise.

“We started looking at different ways of making our own electricity and it`s good for the environment and it`s sustainable,” says Jensen. With this in mind Alan and Maureen decided to install solar power by implementing a nearly 36 Kilowatt solar array. After three months had passed the Jensen’s started to see benefits emerging.

The solar array was installed by Wind and Solar Specialists out of Alta, Iowa.  Rob Hach, the president of Wind and Solar Specialists had the following to say, “It will produce year round, even on a cloudy day like today it`s still producing electricity,”.

The average home in Iowa, USA used 900 Kilowatt hours per month according to the Energy Information Administration. At the time, the Jensen’s were using more than four times that at 4,200 Kilowatt hours. The newly implemented solar panels are producing an average 5,300 kilowatt hours per month. Any additional electrons are sent back to the grid and can be used by the farmers when needed.

Jensen also said, “We are building credits, because this Fall, all the corn drying fans will start blowing a lot of air. We`ll start using a lot of kilowatts and we`ll probably start working those credits we built up back down,” According to Hach many farmers are now turning to sustainable energy to secure the farms futures with the current energy prices rising too much.

The Jensen’s haven’t had to pay an electric bill for two months now and argued that solar was the way to go. “The cost of the power keeps going up and as the bills keep getting higher and higher” said Jensen.

All though the change has been positive for the Jensen family – the cost of installing a solar array can range from $20,000 to one million US dollars. Thus, the installation of such is a long-term investment.

The Jensen’s now own the largest privately owned solar array in Iowa and are very happy with the benefits.

 

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