Why Solar Energy in Agriculture is Changing California Dairy Farms
Animal agriculture and climate change tend to have a negative relationship. But in California, with its reputation for smog and pollution, dairy farmers are beginning to use solar energy in agriculture to combat the stigma.
By installing solar panels on their farms, dairies are saving a lot of money in energy costs. They’re also finding ways to turn a profit and increase the value of their farms.
It’s time to take action to help preserve the environment and reduce carbon emissions from all industries.
Here’s why some California dairy farms are making the switch to solar energy for agriculture use. Learn how you can get started doing your own part for sustainability.
Why Solar Power?
Solar power harvests natural energy used by the sun instead of using up energy utilities created by fossil fuels. The sun’s energy is converted into usable energy for power generation.
With the rising number of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases caused by the fuels we use now, finding ways to produce renewable energy is extremely important. These solutions help to reduce the amount of carbon emissions created, and they also help to preserve many natural resources.
Installing a solar panel on your farm, or your home, means that you’re saving the power you’d otherwise be using from public hydro. It can be costly up front, but it can save you a ton of money in the long run.
When you install a solar panel farm, you can also sell the energy you don’t use back to the grid, which means you can turn a profit as well.
In addition, a federal tax credit of 30% of the total cost of installation is also available for those who decide to install solar panels.
A Solar Power Generation
Many industries are now using solar power to replace traditional means of energy production.
In 2015, California Governor Edmund Brown introduced a series of renewable energy goals for the state. They aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution rates to below 1990 levels by 2030. These goals also aim to increase renewable energy use by 50% over the next 20 years.
And it’s not just California! The United States government has also established its own goals and initiatives to help produce more sustainable activities in the future.
As a result of this initiative, solar farms were established across the country. California has many solar farms that have begun to produce and sustain energy for many households.
Solar farms, also known as photovoltaic power stations, are plots of land where solar panels are installed to collectively harvest energy. They are placed in large amounts to cultivate as much power at once to convert to as much energy as possible.
These farms can contain anywhere from hundreds to thousands to millions of solar panels. Many of them are located in California’s desert lands, where there is plenty of sunlight and space.
More solar farms are popping up in California to provide greener energy solutions. Each of these solar farms can generate enough energy for over 160,000 homes and can displace 377,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the air.
Taking A Step Toward Sustainable Agriculture
Using solar energy in agriculture means that farmers can power their whole facility using energy they create. This won’t cause as many carbon emissions.
That helps to dramatically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that each farm produces over a certain period of time.
Farmers who have gone solar are already noticing that they are saving more money every month. Since they don’t have to pay for energy usage from their municipality, they can use those savings to go toward other farm essentials.
Your energy costs lowered every month. But you’re also safe in the case that energy prices skyrocket unexpectedly. With the rising costs of living, you never know when that could happen.
With solar panels installed, the value of the farm’s land also goes up. So if you ever want to sell your farm in the future, you’ll be able to increase the sale value.
These California Dairy Farms Are Already Using Solar Energy
Joseph Gallo Farms, in Atwater, California, has actually installed the largest solar energy power system ever installed on a dairy farm in the state. The farm has 7,840 solar panels on their property, which harness enough energy to dramatically reduce the amount of local energy the farm uses.
In fact, these solar panels could cut back up to 27,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years. That’s the equivalent of planting over 700,000 trees!
The farm is also focused on other ways they can reduce carbon emissions. In addition to solar power generation, they have a manure digester system. This system takes cow manure and turns it into renewable energy.
And Joseph Gallo Farms isn’t the only dairy to take sustainable solar action.
Lakeside Dairy, in Hanford, California, installed a solar panel system in 2011. This system is estimated to save the dairy money while creating more renewable energy on the farm.
Other dairies in Tulare County are installing solar systems, or already have them in place. These dairies include Dyskstra Dairy, Five Star Dairy, Curtimade Dairy, and Vander Eyk Dairy.
Sign up For Home Milk Delivery And Support Local California Dairy Farms
When you sign up for home milk delivery in glass bottles, you support your local California dairy farmers and their efforts to take care of the state.
Drinking milk in glass bottles helps protect the planet because you can recycle them over and over again. This helps to reduce the amount of carbon emissions used to create new glass, and helps keep recycling programs going.
Home milk delivery means more convenience for you and more support for the community. Find a local dairy near you and sign up now!