“Making Sustainability Work” was the theme of the 2013 Southern Peanut Growers Conference this past week and one of the sessions was devoted to energy efficiency, including the use of solar on the farm.
Peter Marte with Hannah Solar of Atlanta, Georgia says solar energy is getting to be more popular for farming operations because costs have come down. “It’s no longer expensive, the price has dropped 80% over the last three years,” he said. For that reason, Marte encourages farmers to take another look at the possibilities for their operations. “If you haven’t gotten a quote for solar this week – not last month, not a year ago, this week – you don’t have a quote for solar.”
Marte says Hannah Solar has completed a number of agricultural projects around the state of Georgia and many that have benefited from utility company buy back programs. “We’ve done a lot with peanut farmers,” he said, highlighting one example of an irrigation pivot offset system. “So in the winter months when he’s not using the irrigation pivot … he’s still getting compensated for that energy at a fair rate.”
Other projects include the American Peanut Growers shelling plant, which is one of the biggest rooftop solar arrays in the state, solar barns and more. Find out more in this interview with Marte from the peanut growers conference – Interview with Peter Marte, Hannah Solar