Altenergy installs 99.74-kW solar array on Idaho grain farm

Altenergy installs 99.74-kW solar array on Idaho grain farm

The Altenergy Boise Branch completed installation of a 99.74-kW solar array for Hillside Ranch, a large hay and grain farm in Bellevue, Idaho.

“Hillside Ranch is a large supplier of barley to the beer industry, and the project will offset a half-mile-long irrigation pivot that waters the barley they sell to Coors,” said Jesse Simpson, Branch Manager of Altenergy Idaho. “The owners of Hillside Ranch saw the significant monetary benefits of the Federal ITC and depreciation value with this project. The project made a lot of financial sense for them while at the same time providing a more stabilized cash flow for many years to come when paying the power bill.”

The solar system consists of 259 Axitec panels and will produce over 156,000 kWh annually. Integrating solar energy will provide a more sustainable operation for both the environment and daily operations of the ranch.

“We use a significant amount of power to irrigate our crops and felt that solar was a good way to offset some of our pumping costs,” said Justin Stevenson, owner of Hillside Ranch. “We receive a lot of solar days in our area and we had some open unused land in which to install an array on. It will bring a reduction in our farm’s pumping costs to irrigate our fields.”

Hillside expects to save thousands in energy costs after installing the array, Simpson said. The Altenergy crew installed the solar system through winter, and had to deal with accessing the site with an unplowed road, freezing temperatures and tough soil conditions.

The soil at the job site was mostly river rock, so trenches were dug to properly install the ground mounts.

“There are always ways to overcome obstacles in a project,” said Matthew Dunay, VP of Altenergy. Working with [our] design and engineering [crew], they created solutions which is key to having a good plan of attack when partnering with our customers in their projects.”