A Purdue University-affiliated solar company is working to help farms cut down on expenses. Emergent Solar Energy, headquartered at the Purdue Research Park, has installed a ground-mounted solar array on a Tipton County farm to help reduce its carbon footprint and energy costs.
The university says farmers across the United States are dealing with financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Purdue says the 124-kilowatt solar array at Harlow Farms will supply 90% of the annual electricity needs of the entire farm facility and is the largest on-farm solar project in the county.
“Every morning a potential energy source rises over the horizon to the east of my farm,” said Will Harlow, owner of the farm. “It 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.”
Emergent says solar power is offsetting the energy load of the hog barns and grain storage system.
“This project was complex with four grid-tied meters, complete electrical service upgrade, and the use of directional boring as opposed to trenching,” said Jeremy Lipinski, managing partner of Emergent. “We had to balance the economics with the project aesthetics, and I feel as if we accomplished our goal.”
Emergent says it provides solar solutions to the commercial and industrial, municipal and agricultural sectors across the Midwest.