California Almond Farms to Enjoy Solar in Two Ways

published: 2015-11-18 15:17 | editor: | category: News

Suniva and Nuance Energy announced their development plan to power two Bushnell family farms in California’s central valley by high efficiency solar panels. Suniva supplied its OPTimus panels for Nuance Energy’s solar contracting division, AgWell Solar, to install, bringing solar energy to the two almond growing farms.

Bushnell family-owned Bushnell Farms and Three and One Farms in Buttonwillow, California are now enjoying a total of 842kw of solar power. The Bushnell family is one of many local area growers and has discovered how solar power will help them reap huge savings by harvesting energy from the sun. This decision to go solar comes at an ideal time for many California farmers, who have formally relied on PG&E’s AG-ICE rate plan set to expire on December 31, 2015.

“With the ten year AG-ICE rate plan coming to an end, we realized we would need an alternative plan to avoid a significant rate increase imposed by PG&E,” said Julia Bushnell, owner of Bushnell Farms. “Our decision to go solar was an easy one - after doing the math, we determined that our solar installations would reduce our utility costs by seventy-one percent. We couldn’t pass it up.”

“Current PG&E AG-ICE customers are in for a world of hurt come Jan 1, 2016,” said Brian C. Boguess, president of Nuance Energy. “That’s because PG&E will place them on an AG5 rate schedule, which will almost double what they are currently paying. The rate change would cost the two Bushnell family Ag operations more than $136,000 in 2016. However, by going solar and converting to an AG4 rate plan, AgWell Solar will save the Bushnell family an estimated $208,000 next year.”

“It’s great to see California’s agriculture enterprises take advantage of solar energy,” said Matt Card, vice president of global sales and marketing of Suniva. 

Harvesting solar energy is a very natural complement to agri-business to everywhere in the world. By combining Suniva’s OPTims modules and Nuance Energy’s modular and portable Osprey PowerPlatform® solar racking structures, the two solar suppliers offer the farms with affordable and high-quality solar solution. The farms are now enjoying the sun in two ways – for growing the almond and for harvesting the energy.

(Photo: Nuance Energy's Osprey PowerPlatform, source: Nuance Energy)

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