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Lowering Your Farm's Costs, Solar has Arrived for Poultry Farming

Ag Solar Solutions is the number one provider of solar power solutions for the poultry industry. One would expect to find such a company located in California, but that guess would be incorrect. You would need to veer off the beaten path and head for the small coastal town of Hinesville, Georgia when seeking out the agricultural leader in solar. Life may move a bit slower in coastal Georgia, but this company is rapidly growing across the USA.

Clay Sikes, owner and CEO of Coastal Solar, the parent company of Ag Solar Solutions, has been a major player in solar technology for years. His long history in the solar market is being leveraged to drive massive innovation throughout the poultry farming industry. Ag Solar Solutions is completely focused on improving the bottom line of the ag industry, specifically poultry operations.

“Our company’s mission is serving our nation’s farmers by providing energy solutions that instantly translate into increased profits” says Clay.

Obviously, Ag Solar Solutions is in business to sell solar, but if you have one conversation with Clay or the multitude of family and co-workers working along side him, you will quickly realize a much higher calling is at play within the Georgia based company. “We’re here to serve, not to sell, '' appears to be the unwritten company motto. “No matter the location, we work all over America putting up solar on poultry operations,” continues Clay. "Our projects range from Alton, Illinois to Calhoun, Georgia, we go to where we are called to help. Over the years many things have changed in solar, but the largest are the increased efficiency in solar technology, falling prices in battery capacity, and the rising cost of electricity. Now is the best time to invest in a solar installation as a farmer. With grants, tax incentives, and an available accelerated depreciation schedule, solar systems will provide financial benefits for years to come."

Solar has been an especially great investment for poultry farmers. When you look at the amount of energy consumed on a typical poultry farm along with the availability of low pitched roof space, it makes for a fantastic solar opportunity.

As an example, Ag Solar Solutions installed solar on a 10 house poultry farm in Montezuma, GA. The farm was in two separate locations both owned by the same individual. In the first 12 months, the solar installation reduced grid energy consumption by 73%. The reduction in grid energy consumption meant the electric bill was reduced to $17 dollars per house per month for a six month period. Over a six month period the electric bill for this 10 house operation was only $1,000!

The reduction in monthly costs often frees up contract poultry growers to make equipment upgrades and other improvements. Farm upgrades typically increase feed conversion and in most cases, pay. Farmers have suffered some of the greatest losses as a result of supply chain breakdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the ongoing rise in electricity prices. Being able to not only reduce their base costs but reallocate their savings toward other farm upgrades, is drastically improving their operations. The interesting thing about a reduction of cost in perpetuity is it increases the cash flow of a farm and therefore increases the farm's value.

Ag Solar Solutions has taken a turn-key approach to sustainability in the poultry industry. They don’t design systems to maximize size; they design to maximize the farmers return on investment. Their team considers each poultry farmer’s needs and meets not only with the farmer, but, in most cases, with the farmer's accountant to ensure farmers are able to utilize the full value of the system. They develop the optimal solution to reduce liabilities, increase cash flow, and provide long-term stability. Solar power provides an immediate boost to farmers’ bottom line. And just like other equipment, it’s depreciable. State and local incentives, along with the USDA Reap Grant, can pay for the majority of the installation costs in many cases. Ag Solar Solutions has an in-house grant writing team and has a 98% success rate in solar grants.

Most solar companies buy wholesale from distributors. Rarely does a company do enough volume to buy directly from the manufacturing facility, like Ag Solutions. Their company is unique in the solar business in that they control the entire process; manufacturing, logistics, engineering, sales, lending, solar grant writing, consulting, installation, and servicing. While the company is focused on providing solar to poultry farms, their background is diverse in projects including, international airports, Caribbean resorts, commercial real estate, industrial facilities, and residential developments.

Ag Solar Solutions is also now working with a Fortune 150 company to bring all aspects of cost reducing renewable energy to agriculture, including lease options on equipment for those not needing tax deductions.

Article above from American Poultry Farmer magazine, c/o AmericanPoultryCompany,Inc
American Poultry Farmer Magazine

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