Energy costs can be unpredictable. Renewable energy can transform this liability into a profitable asset.

With the clarity and confidence that an engagement with Alta Energy imparts, you’ll further the stewardship of your land while benefiting from lower energy costs. We will work with you to provide full assessments of the potential for solar, energy storage and other clean energy technologies across your operations.

These assessments come at no cost, so you can “know before you buy.” You’ll be able to see the prospective opportunities and economics without wasting time or money.

Learn how Merrill Farms reduced electricity usage by 80% and generated $60K per acre.

The advantages of solar for commercial agriculture include:

  1. Achieve significant cost reductions – replacing high-cost energy purchased from the utility can deliver improved operating margins;
  2. Hedge against volatility by locking in energy rates – solar systems last 25 to 30 years and produce predictable amounts of energy at a known cost that is fixed once the system is operational;
  3. Use less productive or fallow land to generate energy across your operation – certain utilities allow the offsetting of multiple meters with a single solar system. This enables siting the system in less productive areas and provides greater economies of scale;
  4. Relatively small amount of land used for solar can provide significant energy savings – less than 1% of land is needed to power your operation;
  5. Achieve attractive investment returns and payback – solar can often provide attractive rates of return on invested capital, either through direct purchase or using financing;
  6. Offset income tax liability with Federal Investment Tax Credit – commercial agricultural entities with income tax liabilities can utilize the 30% Federal Income Tax Credit and accelerated depreciation to mitigate tax liabilities;
  7. Choose from a variety of financing structures – entities not wishing to purchase systems with cash can utilize a variety of financing structures, including debt financing and third party ownership models;
  8. Enjoy sustainability and marketing benefits – more large customers are requiring sustainability reporting as part of their supply chain oversight programs based on consumers demands. Renewable energy can help meet such requirements.

Alta Energy works with a variety of commercial agricultural entities, including:

  • Row crop growers
  • Nut growers
  • Fruit growers
  • Wineries and vineyard owners
  • Rice and cotton growers
  • Flower growers and nurseries
  • Dairies
  • Shippers and processors
  • Cold storage facility owners
  • Corporate and private farmland owners

Although each agricultural operation is different, solar can enable significant electricity offset and savings for:

  • Metered irrigation pumps
  • Processing operations
  • Cold storage facilities
  • Dry goods warehouses
  • Greenhouse facilities
  • Onsite facilities and worker housing

We provide commercial agriculture clients with objective solar assessments prior to them undertaking any deployment work or expending significant time and financial resources.

Merrill Farms Case Study Anchor

Case Study: Merrill Farms – Harvests The Sun

CLIENT FACTS

Client: Merrill Farms,LLc
Business: Vegetable and berry grower
HQ Location: Salinas, CA
Operations: Owns and leases growing sites across Salinas Valley
Portfolio Profile: 13 sites for growing and operations; all sites located in California

ENGAGEMENT

ACTION POINTS:
Evaluate Merrill Farms’ 13 sites for opportunities to generate material cost savings using solar

CHALLENGES:

  • Minimize loss of productive farmland
  • Expedite project to qualify for expiring “NEM 1.0” policy (described herein), which would drive better economics

SOLUTIONS:

  • Identified and recommended two optimal sites for solar deployment
  • Deployed an aggregated 1.6MW of ground-mount solar
  • Used only 6 acres
  • Both project sites qualified for NEM 1.0

BENEFITS

Utility electricity offset 

%

Annual revenues per acre $

k

25 year savings (gross) $

MM

25 year savings (cash flow) $

.2 MM

Sustainability – C02 avoided 

MT

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