Hinesville business Coastal Solar/Ag Solar Solutions recently partnered with sonnen, Inc., a global leader in residential clean energy management solutions. By combining the solar from two existing Coastal Solar customers’ farms with three of sonnen’s safe and long-lasting 30 kWh intelligent energy storage system, the ecoLinx30, they created the perfect solution for powering six poultry broiler houses.
The circulation fans and manage the temperature in the broiler houses in order to help farmers sustainably maintain chicken health throughout the day. Simultaneously, the sonnen energy storage system uses its intelligent electronics to prioritize the use of clean energy before relying on the utility grid, detecting when there’s excess solar power and storing it for use at night, when solar production is low, or even during power outages.
Solar panels on each property generate clean, renewable energy from the sun to power Early estimates indicate that this installation will save the farmers an additional 35% or more on electricity costs. For some farmers, their energy bill could be nearly eliminated using the solar + storage technology. Sean Lykins, project manager for Ag Solar Solutions, said, “During testing, depending on the stage of the poultry growing process, sonnen’s energy storage solution was enough to power some of the houses throughout the majority of the night.” This means that farms can essentially make a one-time, depreciable investment into the equipment to provide them with greater energy independence, reduce their carbon footprint, and offset their electric bills.
Many farmers’ greatest expense is electricity. So an operation that is primarily powered by the sun would result in a major improvement to margins and allow them to expand their operation and invest in other areas. Savings can also be passed on to buyers. In the poultry industry, that means integrators like Tyson and Perdue benefit not only from cost savings, but from a boost in corporate sustainability programs.
Coastal Solar / Ag Solar Solutions CEO, Clay Sikes, said in a statement, “The result of our work with sonnen is a renewable, residential energy package that can be applied to the agricultural industry. It far outpaces the ‘grid only’ methodology used by most farmers today who simply rent their power. When the base population of farmers understands that they can own their own electricity-producing systems and farm and store sunshine, a dynamic shift will take place. As the tractor replaced the mule, so too will solar & storage replace ‘grid only‘power systems.”
Coastal Solar carved out a niche in the crowded renewable energy space by specializing in systems for the agricultural industry, alongside their residential and commercial solar business. With a focus on farmers as the future of renewable energy and an in-house grant writing team that boasts a 90% success rate in USDA REAP grant application approvals, they created a new company solely dedicated to the agricultural industry — Ag Solar Solutions.