Paradise Solar installs 274-kW system for Delaware poultry farmer

In October 2018, Delaware’s commercial electricity rates increased an average of 3.2% from the October 2017 rate. This increase has Delaware businesses across industries looking for ways to reduce overhead – especially in agriculture.

For poultry farmers, electricity is a significant expense. Thousands of dollars each month are spent on lighting, ventilation, heating, cooling, and automated equipment.

“As you can imagine, our electric bills are rather costly, especially during the summer months,” shared Katharine Parry, part owner of the Parry Poultry Farm, an 80-acre farm raising organic chickens in Hartly.

With electricity rates on the rise, the Parrys were looking for a way to offset these high energy costs and turned to solar energy. “We were initially attracted to the cost savings associated with solar panels,” Parry said.

Partnering with Paradise Energy Solutions, the Parrys installed their 832-panel (274.56-kW) solar system. In just the first year, the system will save them $41,398 in electricity costs by producing 342,132 kWh of electricity. In less than six years, the system will have contributed enough electricity savings to pay for itself, leaving years’ worth of saved energy expenses.

While solar is a great way to reduce energy expenses, the upfront cost associated can be a deterrent. However, the 30% federal tax credit and tax savings on depreciation covered 61.2% of installation costs.

The Parrys also took advantage of the Delaware Sustainable Energy Program, which allowed them to borrow the funds needed to install the project at an attractive interest rate.

Paradise Energy Solutions worked with the Parrys to secure the loan. “They were with us every step of the way and kept our best interests at heart the entire time – from the initial meetings to discuss the advantages of solar energy to completing USDA grant paperwork and the installation process,” Parry said.

While solar panels help offset high energy costs, the Parrys also discovered they’d have an additional benefit. “We raise organic chickens and have fenced pasture areas that the birds can graze in when the temperatures allow.”

Taking this into account, Paradise Energy Solutions worked with the Parrys to design a ground-mounted system. The several arrays, suspended a few feet above the ground, provide a cool place during warmer months for chickens in their pasture areas, increasing the amount of time the birds can graze. “This system has not only reduced our carbon footprint, but doubles as shade to the birds from the sun.”

News item from Paradise Solar

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