Agricultural Solar Systems
“John and the folks at Smucker’s Energy are all about helping you… they have integrity and they know what they’re doing. People have asked me about going solar, and I always tell them, ‘Go to Smucker’s.’ ”
For the “backbone of America,” solar has become a practical, sensible investment that is turning the tide of the financial battle for farmers all across the nation. Smucker’s is located in the heart of farm country (Lancaster County, PA), and we have plenty of experience installing ag-based systems and helping farmers take control of their energy costs. The 30% federal tax credit available on system installations through 2019 (at which point it gradually ramps down to 10% in 2022) means that if you’ve been considering a solar energy system, now is the time for your farm to make the switch and start saving in a big way.Financial Benefits Start Saving Today Technical Details
In addition to the cost savings you’ll realize on your monthly electric bill by making your own energy, there are many other avenues of savings that can reduce your overall system cost and provide other means of income future-forward.
Your agricultural solar installation is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of your system cost from the federal government (more info here), and if the 30% system-cost credit exceeds your tax liability for that year, it can be rolled over and applied to future years to ensure you receive the full benefit of the credit. This 30% is eligible on all systems put into operation before December 31st, 2019, at which point it gradually ramps down to 10% in 2022, where it goes away for residential systems but remains indefinitely for commercial/agricultural installations. There are many state-level tax credits as well, so be sure to check your state’s eligibility. So now is a great time to get started!
Solar systems for businesses are considered an accelerated depreciation investment with a cost-recovery period of only six years, meaning lower tax liability and a faster rate of return for agricultural installations. Nearly eighty percent of your total system cost is eligible for depreciation, and the yearly percentage breakdown is as follows: Year 1, 20%; Year 2, 32%; Year 3, 19.2%; Year 4, 11.52%; Year 5, 11.52%; Year 6, 5.76%. It’s just one more way going solar pays for itself in a reasonably short period of time.
With the needs of the hard-working farmer specifically in mind, the United States Department of Agriculture offers their own USDA REAP Program Grant for up to 25% of your system cost, making solar a viable and profitable alternative for agricultural producers. Smucker’s Energy handles all aspects of grant application for you, so you don’t have to worry about the process or the paperwork. This grant, coupled with the 30% federal tax credit, can account for over half of your system cost. Learn more about the USDA Grant here.
SRECs are green energy credits that are calculated off of your grid-tied system’s production that can later be sold on an green energy market to utility companies required to show proof of clean energy production. For every 1 Megawatt of energy that your grid-tied system produces, you receive 1 SREC when appropriately registered with your local SREC tracking system (this is not available in all states). The bigger the system, the higher the SREC production, so large agricultural systems stand to profit considerably from the sale of their SRECs—and this is all in addition to and independent of savings on your electric bill. Click here to read more about the production, sale, and pricing of SRECs.
Agricultural solar energy systems tend to be larger systems, much larger than basic residential systems, that require skilled engineering and integration—but the team of experienced technicians and electricians at Smucker’s Energy has years of experience designing and implementing solutions that are perfectly catered to accommodate your process and the available space on your property. Roof mount systems can accommodate any type of roof, and solar panels only create an additional 3 pounds per square foot, making covering the top of a barn or outbuilding (such as a carport or animal shelter) with a panels a great option. If your situation doesn’t support this solution, we can engineer a ground or pole mount system that utilizes optimal location and sunlight to produce as much power as possible.
We strive to help you achieve the most productive system possible through component quality. We only use tried and tested materials that give you years of maintenance-free production and maximum savings, including high-quality SolarWorld solar panels, the first panels sold with a 25-year production warranty. SolarWorld manufactures panels in both Germany and the United States, and they’ve been a leader in solar panel manufacturing for over forty years. SolarWorld uses data received from panels that have been in operation for over thirty years to improve and warranty their products for high production levels and customer satisfaction. For these reasons, Smucker’s uses primarily SolarWorld panels in our systems. Our customers are our top priority, and our years in the marketplace have made us advocates for investing in quality.
High-performance panels always pay dividends down the road beyond going the cheapest route, since they generate more power more efficiently for a longer period of time. Start with a better product, and the benefits get exponentially better as the years go by—more savings and faster payback times. We’re also rich with experience in designing fully engineered stamped drawings, applying for and acquiring all types of permits, and registering with countless utilities and handling their paperwork in multiple states. You don’t need to worry about setting up inspections or dealing with the local utility—we take care of all of that for you.
Additionally, we offer and encourage internet monitoring solutions that ensure you’re getting the most out of your system—specific products can even allow you to track energy production on a panel-by-panel basis. These tracking programs keep you fully informed of system performance so that in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, it can be quickly identified and resolved to ensure minimal production loss. This is very important on agricultural systems with large panel strings. We realize that agricultural solar is an investment, and we’re committed to helping you see and verify that your system is delivering the savings for your farm’s needs.
Smucker’s Energy is seasoned veteran when it comes to working with farms and farmers; we plan and design with consideration for planting cycles, daily responsibilities, livestock needs, and general farm activity. Our solar installations are efficient, non-intrusive, and specifically engineered to take into account your needs as it relates to both energy consumption and agricultural process. From concept to completion, our team of professional technicians and electricians will work closely with you to provide a quality renewable energy solution with minimal interruption to your routine.
Jeff Beck’s grid-tied solar/wind combination system stands as a perfect illustration of individual renewable energy systems working in harmony to fully supply all the energy needs of this busy, working farmer. Additionally, his power sources are connected to a battery backup to ensure that regardless of the weather or status of the grid, he’ll always be 100% powered and prepared.
Regardless of how big or small your farm (and electric bill) is, Smucker’s Energy can help you save money. It takes a lot of power to run life on the farm, and our industry experience presents plenty of options for taking control of your energy costs. You deserve a little more peace of mind… let’s see how much money we can help you save!
$295/month 2107kwh The more you spend on electricity, the more we can save you.Request an e-quote
Our team of experts works with you closely to make sure you get the best solution for your situation.
We engineer a system that functions efficiently, is designed for endurance, and maximizes every aspect of appearance.
Our dedicated installers will put in your system efficiently and expertly… with as little disturbance as possible.
Start making power without worrying about the paperwork. We’ll handle connecting with utility and help you begin saving money.
“Smucker’s Energy is an ethical installer that finds out what you need and makes sure you get it—our system is producing even more than they said it would.”Keith Frey, farmer in Pennsylvania