Farmer’s Wind, Solar System Generates Eco-Friendly Energy

Farmer’s Wind, Solar System Generates Eco-Friendly Energy

Contact:  Rob Hach, 712-200-2281, robhach@anemometry.com

ALTA, Iowa – April 10, 2014—An innovative wind and solar system that generates electricity at Phil Sundblad’s farm near Albert City is showcasing the sustainable nature of modern agriculture.

“As electricity prices continue to rise, it’s good to have renewable energy alternatives like wind and solar power,” said Sundblad, a corn and soybean grower.

The system includes five 30-kilowatt solar trackers that rotate and follow the sun from daybreak to sunset. The dual-axis solar trackers, which were activated on Feb. 7, boast an estimated production of 53,234 kilowatt hours per year.

The system also generates electricity with a 100-foot-tall, grid-tied Bergey Excel 6 wind turbine, which is located north of the solar trackers. The turbine was activated on Feb. 20 and can produce 13,594 kilowatt hours per year.

Sundblad’s system, which was installed by Wind and Solar Specialist (WASS) of Alta, will generate an estimated annual output of 66,828 kilowatt hours per year. Any extra electricity generated by the system that’s not used on the farm goes onto the grid. The system has an estimated payback of five to seven years, said Rob Hach, president of WASS.

A combination of wind and solar power can work well in Iowa, added Hach, who noted that business magnate Warren Buffet is investing $2 billion in Iowa wind farms in 2014 and 2015. Wind power is plentiful during the winter and spring months, while solar power is less abundant. When the wind tends to blow the least in July and August, the summer sun generates more solar power.

“There’s a 100-percent guarantee that the cost of wind or sun will not increase in the next 100 years,” said Hach, who runs WASS with his wife, Tara. “Since you’ll spend money either way for electricity, it makes sense to consider renewable energy.”

Hach and the WASS team work with clients to determine whether wind, solar or a combination of the two best suits their needs. The company has a full-time meteorologist who conducts feasibility studies to determine where to install the renewable energy system on the client’s property. “We provide turn-key solutions,” said Hach, who analyzed 12 months of Sundblad’s electricity bills to size the renewable energy system according to his needs.

A variety of federal and state financial incentives are available for renewable energy systems, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to the state of Iowa’s solar energy systems tax credit. Grants and guaranteed loans are available to businesses investing in wind turbines, energy-efficient grain dryers, geothermal systems and more, said Hach, who helps clients complete the paperwork to receive the incentives.

Eco-friendly solutions are important to Sundblad, who is president of Crosswind Energy, which has operated a Palo Alto County wind farm since 2007. “Farmers are innovating for the future, and renewable energy is part of this.”

For more information about Wind and Solar Specialists, log onto www.wassus.com, or call 712-200-2281.

About Wind and Solar Specialists

Wind & Solar Specialists (WASS) is a full-service wind and solar company located in Alta, Iowa. Located in the heart of the Midwest’s wind corridor, WASS provides worldwide renewable energy services. WASS is a division of Anemometry Specialists, Inc., which was named the Iowa Small Business of the Year in 2010 by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For more information, visit www.wassus.com.