So, you’re thinking about “going solar”…
You’ll be joining millions of other smart landowners who get big value by using one of Earth’s greatest renewable energy sources to power their lives.
But, let’s be honest. There’s a lot of information out there about solar power and solar panels, and it can get overwhelming.
At Solar Sam, we understand that. We’re here to help make this process easy for you.
You’re on the right track by reading through this quick guide. What are the top 5 things you need to know before buying solar panels for your farm? Let’s take a look!
Solar Tip #1 — Do Your Homework
It may sound like no fun, but it’s necessary—and worth it. We know you understand that, though work isn’t always fun, it’s always productive. Consider:
1. What do you want solar to do for you?
Using solar energy can benefit your farm for generations to come. Really think about what you want to accomplish by purchasing a solar energy system. Pin down what is most important.
- Do you want to set up your farm for future success and leave a legacy?
- Is budget your main concern?
- Are you most keen on cutting your carbon footprint?
Whatever your reasons, answering this question now will keep your goals front and center through the process.
Need inspiration? Check out this quick video for ideas on how to put solar to work on your farm, as well as this article from The Furrow about Powering Up agriculture using solar. Finally, this informative article from Missouri Farmer Today shows how solar panels give farmers another option.
2. What’s your budget?
Whether budget is the main factor here or not, we know that budget is a big driver behind your final decision. Solar power will save you money in the long run (as much as $30,000 to $60,000+ over the life of system), not to mention the incentives you’ll have access to. See Solar Tip #2 for more on the costs, incentives and benefits of going solar.
Solar Tip #2 — Explore the Benefits of Going Solar
Sure, there’s a cost associated with switching to solar power, but what are the benefits? Some things to look at:
In 2020, there’s a healthy 26% federal solar tax credit for purchased solar installs. After this year, it goes down to 22%—still an enticing benefit, though this tax credit may disappear after 2021 for residential systems. Your state, and even your city, may offer additional incentives.
For more info, check out our recent blog post on solar rebates and solar incentives.
For farm operations specifically, there’s:
- USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants and Guaranteed Loans
- PACE Financing
- Net Metering
- 100% Tax Deferment
Solar power is a quiet, air pollution-free energy alternative. It’s clean, sustainable, and renewable. Using the sun’s mighty power to power your farm operations significantly cuts down on harmful carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions.
Solar Tip #3 — Choose the Right Provider and Get a Free Quote
Doing the necessary research takes some time and effort, but getting a quote is easy and free. At Solar Sam, our process is as simple as 1-2-3:
- Request a free quote and provide the information needed. It should take just 24-48 hours to create a sample system design and quote for you to review.
- When you’re ready to move forward, a solar expert will come to your site for a site walk.
- From there, a pricing contract with your exact system details will be created to get you sailing toward savings.
Going with a local provider ensures that you are supporting the local economy and getting help from someone who knows your area well. Getting a free quote is a risk-free way of making sure going solar is right for you.
Solar Tip #4 — Know What Comes Next
After getting a quote and choosing your solar provider, what’s next? The next part of the process should be coordinated by your solar provider for the most part, but there are some things you need to know:
Local Permitting Requirements and Inspections
Getting all the proper permits and inspections can be challenging on your own, so it’s best to choose a solar provider who completes this part of the process for you. Your provider should have the local relationships in place to make this easy.
At Solar Sam, you get one-stop service. Decide to go solar with us, and we’ll take care of the rest using USA-made products with up to 25-year warranties.
Once the permitting and necessary inspections are done, it’s time to install your solar energy system! Your solar provider will have technicians on site to install your panels, answer any questions you may have, and get your system ready to run. Generally, depending on system size and complexity, installation only takes a few days.
Final Approval and Utility Connection
The last step in the process is getting final approval from your local utility, which may involve:
- Final local building and electrical inspections
- Getting a new meter installed
- Notification that you can use your new solar energy system!
Solar Tip #5 — Claim Your Savings
There’s nothing left for you to do, except enjoy your energy savings for years to come. While laughing at how small your monthly energy bills are, you can also feel really good about doing your part to be kinder to the environment and knowing you’ve set your farm up for generations of success.