Ribbon Cut on Largest Solar Plant in Iowa – KTIV Siouxland’s News Channel

Ribbon cut on largest solar plant in Iowa

Posted: Sep 17, 2013 4:37 PM CDT  

By Kayah Gausman, Multimedia Journalist

Farmers across Iowa are looking at ways of becoming more energy efficient.

One farm in Iowa is taking a shining leap into the future of energy efficiency.

Wind turbines and solar panels are becoming more and more common on farm plots across the Midwest. A farm in Exira, Iowa has the biggest solar plant yet.

“Farmers across Iowa have been utilizing renewable energy to offset their electric bills for years, and this is the first time at this scale that solar has been utilized to be able to offset a farmer’s electrical usage,” Rob Hach, President of Anemometry Specialists said.

The plot was commissioned by Alan and Maureen Jensen of A&M Jensen Farms in Exira. The project was built by Anemometry Specialists on the Jensen’s land.

It’s estimated to generate more than 45,000 kilowatt hours for the Jensen Farm, and any leftover energy will go back to the power grid for public use.

The plant was completed in only eight weeks. The company builds solar and wind energy plants often, especially now that the cost of solar energy panels has decreased.

“The cost of solar energy has come down, the panels have come down so much over the last five years that it’s been able to offer farmers this option, whereas before they were looking at purely a wind option. So now they have an option to offset their electric usage on their farms,” Hach said.

Anemometry Specialists says they hope to be able to build plants like this more often. Hach says now that the supplies are less expensive, farmers are more likely to consider using renewable energy sources to power their farms.

“This was a very successful project for us,” Hach said.

And a project helping launch A&M Jensen farms into the future of renewable energy.

The opening of this particular plant allowed Anemometry Specialists to add two more technicians to their staff to help handle the workload of the new project.