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Illinois Farms Save Big by Going Solar




 IL. farms save big by going solar. The title speaks for itself. Not only do farmers save potentially hundreds of dollars per month by going solar, but the handful of incentives and rebates available in IL. make bringing these projects to life easier than ever.

 

Farms are prime candidates for solar due to them having high energy usage, and often great access to sunlight. Whether it is a rooftop or ground mounted system, the savings on energy, and immense state and federal funding available make these projects a risk free, high return investment for farmers in Illinois.

 

We sat down with Gene Lane, from Lane farms in DeKalb County, IL. to ask about why he chose to go solar with us in 2019.

 

Q: Gene, what made you want to go solar initially?

 

A: “We went solar to help with our expenses. Since going solar our electric bill has gotten down to $4, sometimes $15. To be honest, if the solar wasn’t subsidized, it wouldn’t have paid for itself.”


Illinois leads the nation when it comes to solar incentives that help home and business owners go solar. Available incentives for going solar in Illinois are:

 

-        The federal government offers a 30% federal tax credit for all the funds spent on the project.

-         The state of Illinois has incentives that every Windfree Solar client is eligible for that total 30-45% of the total project cost.

-        The REAP grant, specifically for rural businesses and farms, covers up to 50% of the project cost.

 

In total, the incentives available often total close to 100% of the project cost, without factoring in the monthly savings on energy.

 




Seasonality plays a big role in some farm’s operations and energy usage. In cases in which a farm has equipment that is only used during certain times in the year, their overall annual energy usage may be skewed by those months. This dilemma is solved by a program in Illinois called Net Metering. Net Metering allows for a solar PV system to not lose excess solar energy production in the summer months. Solar arrays are designed to produce a bit over 100% annual energy offset. However, that production is on a bell curve throughout the year and is highest in the summer months and lower in the darker, winter months. Net Metering allows solar owners to have the monthly summer excess solar energy credited to their Ameren/ComEd account, and then have those (kwh) credits applied to their bill in the darker winter months, when they are still using energy but there is less sunlight. Due to many farms having high winter energy usage, Net Metering helps them save money all year round.


Solar PV systems help farms cut down their monthly expenses, while also reducing their carbon footprint and helping them become more sustainable. Let us know if you’re a farmer in IL. who would like to learn more about how to get started. Commercial Solar projects are complex, so make sure that you choose a design and installation company that is tried and true. Windfree Solar has been installing residential and commercial solar in Illinois since 2009 and offers the administration to help you get the available incentive funds, the system design, installation, warranty, and servicing.

 

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