Carmel-based energy strategy firm Solential Energy is working with The Maschhoffs LLC, a hog production company headquartered in Illinois, to construct a 3.06-megawatt solar array at the company’s Griggsville Feed Mill. The partners say the project will help offset rising energy costs while furthering sustainable farming practices.
The project will include installation of nearly 7,000 ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar panels on the 11-acre site. Solential is expected to begin construction immediately.
“In 2022 alone, we’ve seen our energy costs increase significantly severely impacting our operating costs and threatening our competitiveness as well as the State of Illinois’ $1.1 billion pork producing industry,” said Chairman Ken Maschhoff. “Adopting renewable solar energy to offset rising energy costs is strategically necessary. The Maschhoffs have always been innovators, and we embrace the opportunity to transform our operation through more sustainable practices, take control of our energy production and costs, and do our part in reducing the carbon footprint of our operations.”
The company says the solar panels will begin generating power by October and are expected to save $320,000 in energy costs the first year. The project is expected to save the farm more than $11.3 million over a 25-year period.
“Our grain operations are critical to animal care, overall health and pork production,” said Vice President of Support Operations Gerry Daignault. “Energy availability and resilience are critical. Any interruption in power or loss of heat can alter the chemistry of our feed, which in turn impacts the growth of our animals and profitability of the business. Adding solar to our energy equation allows us to continue to optimize our grain processing and get the best feed to our animals without the stress of higher energy costs.”
The Maschhoffs says its Griggsville Feed Mill is its main feed facility and is one of the company’s most energy intensive operations, accounting for about 25% of the 1.4 million market hogs and feeder pigs the company raises every year.