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Green Fun Store News

Another California farm gets solar makeover

Posted by Green Fun Store on 1/12/2011 to Current News/Events of John Deere
As farms across the U.S. look for ways to reduce the environmental toll of their farming operations, they are increasingly turning toward solar power. In California, one farm recently announced that it will install a solar panel system on its grounds to cut its energy usage.

Sea View Ranch, a major kumquat and lime grower in the Coachella Valley, inked a deal with Sunvalley Solar, a California-based solar company, to install a 145-kilowatt solar panel system at the farm's packing facility. The solar upgrade to farm life will, according to the farm's owners, result in an 80 percent reduction of electricity usage each year.

Sunvalley will begin construction next month and plans to have the solar panel system fully operational some time in May of this year. In total, 1,528 solar panels will comprise the photovoltaic system, generating 225,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The solar panel system has a price tag of $663,381, but Sea View is using a $200,000 federal tax grant and $318,000 in state rebates to fund the project.

The farm mainly harvests kumquats, limes, dates and other citrus products, and its owners affirm that the solar panel system will help them to keep electricity usage down because "as a commercial cooler, we burn up a lot of electricity," the farm's president, Dennis Jensen told the Desert Sun.