A Purdue University-affiliated solar company is working with farmers to curb financial difficulties of COVID-19 by cutting their energy costs.
Emergent Solar Energy, headquartered at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, Indiana provides solar solutions to the commercial and industrial, municipal and agricultural sectors across the Midwest.
The company just placed a 124-kW ground-mounted solar array on Harlow Farms in Tipton County, the largest on-farm solar project in the county. The solar power is offsetting the energy load of five finishing barns of the 5,600-hog operation and grain storage system.
â€śEvery morning a potential energy source rises over the horizon to the east of my farm,â€ť said Will Harlow, owner of the farm. â€śIt seemed a waste to not harness this daily free energy source, erasing some of what I take from the grid. The solar components being made in the United States was also important to me. I hope if any positive comes from this pandemic, it is that we must do what we can to get production of all kinds returning to America.â€ť
This new solar project will supply 90% of the annual electricity needs of their entire farm facility. Additionally, an Indiana species pollinator habitat was planted under the array to aid the local biodiversity of bees and Monarch butterflies, which will eliminate the need to spray and mow, substantially reducing the project maintenance costs.
â€śThis project was complex with four grid-tied meters, complete electrical service upgrade, and the use of directional boring as opposed to trenching,â€ť said Jeremy Lipinski, managing partner of Emergent. â€śWe had to balance the economics with the project aesthetics, and I feel as if we accomplished our goal.â€ť
News item from Emergent Solar Energy