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SOLAR POWER A SOUND BUSINESS DECISION

The ability to make good business choices that will benefit an operation in the short- and long-term is critical to a farm’s and farmer’s success. Investing money in equipment, land or infrastructure comes with great cost, so it’s important to know that dollars are well spent. Mitigating risk when possible helps operations remain competitive, and helps farmers plan for the future.

miEnergy is a Saskatoon-based company specializing in geothermal and solar power. According to Kevin Bergeron, President, solar energy is an excellent opportunity for farms to hedge against the rising cost of electricity.

“Solar allows an opportunity to hedge against energy inflation by purchasing your power in “bulk.” It is important to reframe how you think of solar, as you are not buying specifically for the physical panels, but instead buying their capacity to produce power for 30-plus years,” says Bergeron. “Investing in 30 years worth of any farm input – like fertilizer or gasoline – would be a wise investment.”

Increasing electricity costs will see power bills double in an estimated 12 years, says Bergeron. The ability to counter this rise in input cost not only will pay off in the long run, but will increase sustainability on-farm. Farmers can also benefit from two programs when they switch to solar – a 20% rebate from SaskPower, which will refund you up to a maximum of $20,000 on your solar purchase, and a CCA tax benefit, which allows you to depreciate your array at an accelerated rate.

For example, a farmer who recently purchased a system calculated his payback, with the rebate and depreciation, to be seven years. That’s 23 years of free power!

Visit miEnergy at Ag in Motion at booth 449. Ag in Motion will be held in Langham, SK from July 18-20, 2017.

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