ATLANTA, Ind. - Hamilton County-based Beck's Hybrids has completed an effort to boost energy efficiency at its Atlanta headquarters. The retail seed company has installed two, 1-megawatt solar energy systems it says will account for about 25 percent of its current electric costs.

The company declined to disclose the investment figure for the project. Beck's partnered with Rochester-based Ag Technologies Inc. to design and install the systems, each of which includes 125 solar panels and is capable of producing 1.6 million kilowatt hours of power annually.

"When you think about it, farmers are in the business of capturing sunlight and converting it to energy," said Sonny Beck, chief executive officer of Beck’s. "By installing solar panels, we are taking that concept and applying it to our business of producing seed. One of our goals as farmers is to be good stewards of our resources, and these new solar panels are another way we will be able to do that. We have a long-term commitment to farmers and the local community. This solar panel project will allow us to create renewable energy that will benefit both groups."

The solar systems were installed as part of Duke Energy's Net Metering program, in which excess energy produced by the systems will go to the grid and applied as a credit toward monthly electric statements.