Leasing Solar Panels For Your Farm

Growing Magazineby:

Tech

When it comes to solar panels for farming properties, it’s easy to think about the thousands of dollars they can cost to have them installed on the roof. But on farming properties, the land is typically abundant, and there are alternative installation options for solar panels on these larger properties. It doesn’t matter if you are farming for organic produce, or raising grass-fed cattle, solar energy can benefit your crops and land in more than one way. Did you know that more companies are now offering farm owners an opportunity to install solar panels on a ‘lease’ basis? Not only can you have the solar panels installed before them benefiting from reduced energy bills, but you can also do so for no initial charge! On farmlands, solar panels can be used to power various parts of the property including outdoor lighting, and water heaters.

Today, we’re going to explain how you can begin converting your home to solar energy and how you can take advantage in the months and years ahead!

How Can Solar Bring Value To My Farm?

Konzept einer Agrophotovoltaik-Anlage.© Fraunhofer ISE

Farming communities around the country are finding different ways to integrate solar technology into their farms. Solar panels can benefit farms and provide a very green solution for organic gardening, and produce production. Investing in solar for your farms will reduce expenses for decades after they have been paid off. Some farms are installing solar panels out with the actual crops, and using them to source energy and provide shade to sensitive plant life.

Solar is a long-term investment that farmers need to understand is valuable for the long term. Most agricultural solar systems see a return in less than 10 years.

How Does it Work?

These days, there are some fantastic companies offering finance for those who want to introduce solar solutions to their home and gardens but aren’t quite in the financial position to purchase panels outright. Depending on your location, the contractors in your area will work with certain financing companies. For example, they’ll help you to take advantage of the tax credit system currently available. Many farming communities benefit from Government sponsored rebates, check your local tax laws for possible rebates and benefits.

Tax Credit – Now the importance of solar energy has been recognized by all, the government allows for tax credits of up to 30% of your solar project. Luckily, for us all, this system will remain active throughout 2019…but it will eventually decrease (so it’s best to take action as soon as you can!). In 2020, the percentage provided by tax credit will reduce to 26%, then 22% in 2021, and it’ll be removed completely in 2023.

If you’re wondering how tax credits work, they essentially reduce the amount of tax you pay over a typical period. For example, for a seven-kilowatt solar installation, you could pay a little under $30,000. Suddenly, with the right company, your taxes will reduce by $9,000/$10,000.

To apply, you’ll need to meet certain requirements. As well as applying before December 31st, 2019, you’ll need to be a homeowner (not a renter), and you’ll need to have sufficient Federal Tax liability.

Loaning Companies – After tax credit, the rest of the fee for your solar panels can be paid off using a loan from a reliable company. Over time, you’ll pay regular fees rather than paying for the panels all in one lump sum. For many, they even pay off their loan at the close of escrow which can be a useful option to have.

Can I Avoid a Loan?

So far, we’ve discussed the idea of using financial specialists to pay for solar panels on your behalf. However, is there a way to avoid a loan completely? Well, you may still find suppliers offering a ‘Rent-a-Roof’ scheme, and this will allow you to receive panels for no charge. In return, the installers will claim the feed-in tariff payments for all generated electricity. In this scenario, you benefit from solar energy, but the company receives all tariff payments. Once the leasing period is over, normally 20/25 years, the company will let you keep the panels despite their lack of tariff payments.

Solution?

If you want to convert your farm to solar but aren’t sure of your options, we recommend talking to somebody who can consider your financial position and offer tailored advice. These days, we don’t recommend just dismissing solar electricity as a solution because you’ll almost certainly find a method of introducing solar without severely harming your financial future.

Whether it’s leasing, receiving a loan, or even just buying the solar panels as normal, you can find a solution that meets your needs. If you haven’t fully considered the benefits of purchasing the solar panels yourself, you’ll benefit from reduced bills, tax credits could save you 30%, you’ll recuperate your investment when selling, and you can reduce your carbon footprint!

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