solar panels on agricultural building

Rising energy costs are pushing farmers and investors in agriculture operations to focus on energy efficiency and Green Energy solutions. Here at Michiana Equipment we are equipped to design, install, and service solar equipment for the agriculture industry which will help you lower your energy costs.

Solar Power Systems For The Agricultural Industry

American farmers are investing in solar for their farming operations. A bank of solar panels on your hog or poultry facility roof is almost a foregone conclusion to improve profitability of your farming operation, considering the funds that are currently available through government programs. These solar systems can significantly reduce the amount of offsite energy needed for your farming operation.

Produce farmers are also benefiting from solar energy by installing a solar array in a field and planting crops underneath. It’s a new scientific (and literal) field known as agrivoltaics—agriculture plus photovoltaics—and it’s not as counterintuitive as it might seem. Beets, carrots, garlic, kale, lettuce, radishes, and tomatoes have been proven to do well underneath a bank of solar panels designed for that purpose.

Are you a cash crop farmer? You can benefit as well. A 21 kw solar system can fit on the roof of a medium sized shop or equipment shed and produce enough energy to power your shop and your home. Contact Michiana today to design the perfect solar system for your farming operation.

What Does Solar Panel Installation Cost Indiana Farmers?

The good news is turnkey solar power systems are actually coming down in price. Larger demand makes producing components cheaper than ever before. That does not mean installing a solar power system is cheap, it isn’t, but long term it is considerably cheaper than purchasing all your power from a public utility. Prices cover a vast range depending on the system’s design and capabilities.

The good news is currently the USDA is offering programs like REAP to make Going Green with your energy more attractive than ever before. Call us for a no obligation quote, custom tailored to your unique needs.

Call (574) 642-4768

What is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)?

REAP is a program offered by the USDA which provides farmers with a grant to install renewable energy or make energy efficiency improvements on their farm or ranch. Farmers can qualify for a grant up to $500,000 to be used in the installation of:

  • Geothermal Energy
  • Hydropower
  • Solar Panels
  • Wind Turbines

Have questions? The staff at Michiana Equipment will be glad to discuss the benefits of using federal grants to add Solar Energy to your agriculture operation.

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Other Improvements the Rural Energy for America Program Funds

Energy efficiency improvements also qualify for REAP funding, you can get up to $250,000 for projects such as:

  • Cooling or refrigeration units
  • Doors and windows
  • HVAC
  • Lighting
  • More efficient insulation
  • Replacing energy inefficient equipment such as grain dryers
  • Switching from a diesel to electric irrigation motor

Who Qualifies For Reap?

Requirements to qualify for REAP are as follows:

Your agriculture operation provides 50% or more of your gross income, or you are a small business located in an eligible rural area. If you meet one of those two criteria, then you’re most likely eligible!

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Are Indiana Farmers Eligible For REAP?

Yes, farmers and small business owners in rural Indiana qualify for the grants offered under the Rural Energy for America Program.

Does the Rural Energy for America Program Cover All Costs?

While REAP offers great incentive to Go Green, it is important to recognize that REAP will only cover up to 25% of the total costs. For example, if an agricultural solar panel installation project were to cost $20,000 REAP would cover $5,000 and the farmer would be responsible for the other $15,000 under this cost share arrangement. The $15,000 in expense to the farmer is then offset by a significant saving on their electricity bill.

REAP is an exciting opportunity for farmers around the country to significantly enhance their ROI for years to come. Give us a call today to get started.

Call (574) 642-4768