Renewable energy helps America reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, create jobs, and reduce pollution. Recent reports from the Union of Concerned Scientists, the River Network, and the Congressional Research Service illustrate another benefit with huge implications for agriculture: renewable electricity production consumes far less water than coal and natural gas, leaving more water available for American farmers.
ELPC recently highlighted a successful REAP solar project on a September 2013 solar tour through northeast Iowa. Chuck Bushman installed solar panels on his farm, which began operating early in 2013.
The solar array has 360 panels, generating 86 kw total on the roof of his poultry barn. Solar reduced the farm’s utility bills from an average of $1,700 per month to $170 per month – a 90% reduction.