Is solar energy a good investment for your farm? The answer to this question can vary for each farmer. At Paradise Energy Solutions, a solar installation company, it is our mission to help you save money with solar energy. However, we realize there are advantages and disadvantages to solar and it’s not an investment everyone should make.
We’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of solar energy to help you answer if solar is a good idea for you. It’s important to review this list with an eye on your specific goals and requirements.
So without further ado, here are the pros and cons of a solar energy system.
ADVANTAGES: SIX PROS TO GOING SOLAR
1. Solar Reduces An Expense
Solar will reduce your electric bill and give you control over a fixed cost.
2. Solar Provides Protection from Rising Electric Rates
With solar, your electric rate will remain the same for the life of the system. You no longer need to be concerned about rising electric rates.
3. You Can Quickly Recover A Large Portion of the Installation Cost in Year One
The 30% federal tax credit allows you to receive 30% of the system’s cost back on your owed federal taxes in year one. In addition, farmers can quickly recover a large portion of the installation cost by taking advantage of 100% accelerated depreciation and various grants, such as the USDA REAP Grant.
4. Solar Will Grow Your Bottom Line
The savings generated by a solar system will drop straight to your bottom line. Compare that to revenue growth where only a portion drops to your bottom line. For example, a $10k growth in revenue with 10% margins will only add $1,000 to your bottom line. $10k of savings from solar will add $10k to your bottom line. There are no material or labor costs eating into your savings.
5. It’s Sustainable
As long as the sun continues to shine, your solar system will produce clean energy. Plus, saving on your electric bill will free up your budget so you can reinvest in the future of your farm.
6. It’s A Set and Forget Solution
There are no moving parts to a solar system, so the maintenance and upkeep will be minimal. After installation is complete and the system is energized, you can just sit back and let it go to work.
If something would go wrong, it’s likely under warranty. Most panels come with 25 or 30-year warranties. Inverters come with 10,12,15, 20 or 25-year warranties. In addition, reputable solar installers will provide workmanship warranties.
DISADVANTAGES: FIVE CONS TO GOING SOLAR
1.If the Electric Grid Goes Down, Your Solar System Will Shut Down
Due to safety regulations for grid-tied solar systems, each system must be installed with rapid shut down components that will keep electricity from back feeding into the grid. This means if the electric grid goes down for any period of time, your system will shut down until power is restored to the grid. This is required by law to protect those who are working on the electric lines.
2. The Upfront Cost Can Be Intimidating
Solar is a significant investment that requires up-front capital or access to financing in order to save over the long-term.
To learn more about the cost of solar, check out our blog post How Much Does Solar Energy Cost.
3. Sunshine Is Required
Solar panels need sunlight to produce power. Your system will produce little to no power on cloudy days and at night. At those times, electricity is pulled from the grid. Net Metering allows you to switch from ‘solar power’ to ‘grid power’ depending on the production of your solar system.
4. Space is Required
Open space is required for solar. In most instances, the solar system is utilizing unused space on your roof. However, some situations may need a ground mount to be installed in an area that could potentially be used for other activities
5. Curb Appeal
Depending on the placement, type of panels used, and quality of the installation, solar systems can stand out and be unattractive.
About the Author
This blog post was written by Andy Schell, marketing manager of Paradise Energy Solutions.
Paradise Energy Solutions is a family-owned, full service solar installation company with over 1,000 installation throughout the mid-Atlantic region. It is our mission to help farmers, business owners, and homeowners be good stewards of God’s abundant resources.
Visit www.ParadiseEnergy.com to learn more.