DFA and Third Sun Solar look to expand solar use on dairy farms

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Kibler Dairy Farm in Ohio has installed solar panels to save money and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Pic:©DFA
The Kibler Dairy Farm in Ohio has installed solar panels to save money and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Pic:©DFA
US dairy cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and Third Sun Solar, an Ohio-based energy company, have teamed up to introduce solar panel technology to more DFA member farms.

The partnership will provide DFA members in DFA’s Mideast area with access to project planning, development, support and discounted pricing for on-farm solar power programs.

David Darr, president of farm services at DFA, said the cooperative was seeing a lot of interest in renewable energy as many farmers are looking for ways to save money, increase self-reliance and operate their farms in more environmentally-friendly ways.

“Through this partnership with Third Sun Solar, we hope to make solar technology more mainstream as the economic and environmental opportunities for farmers are incredibly beneficial,”​ Darr said.

Panels cheaper and more durable

DFA member Gary Kibler of Kibler Dairy Farm in Warren, Ohio, recently worked with Third Sun Solar to install 480 solar panels at their family farm.

According to Third Sun Solar, the panels will provide 163.2 kilowatts of power, which should mean monthly savings in the thousands for a farm of this size.

In the first year alone, more than $23,000 in avoided electrical payments can be reinvested back into the farm. In turn, this should offset approximately 120 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Michelle Greenfield, co-founder, Third Sun Solar, said solar panels are far more durable now than 15 or even five years ago.

“With panel prices half of what they used to be, solar is far more attainable for farmers looking to reduce their carbon footprint,”​ Greenfield said.

Related topics: R&D, Dairy Health Check

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