Agricultural Solar

Solar energy on your farm

Is it Possible to Run My Farm on Solar Energy?

Many farmers around the country are constantly pondering the idea of investing in solar energy to run their farmland. There are many factors that can affect farming in a negative way. Pandemics, natural disasters, economic recessions, and other negative events can result in nightmares for the agriculture industry across the country. One way to help save farms on energy bills and the cost of running a farm is to invest in renewable energy like solar.

How is COVID-19 Affecting Farming?

The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced restaurants, coffee shops, and other markets to close, which has led to fresh food demand to drop. Farms have been left with stockpiles of fresh food they can’t supply to restaurants and other places serving fresh food. This impacts farmers because they make their living on supplying the fresh food to those who need it. The federal government will have to step in to help farms and ranches supply that food to people in need of it.

Why Should Farms Invest in Solar Energy?

Solar energy systems are low maintenance, and the energy would be free once the initial cost of the investment is recovered. For farmers, their longevity is the most important, and that is why a solar energy system investment can benefit farms in the long run. Traditional energy like kerosene, diesel, and propane have caused problems such as the cost of transportation, spillage, fumes, and high maintenance costs.

By utilizing solar energy in agriculture, these farmers will be able to reduce their fossil fuel emissions and environmental hazards. If a farm has a solar energy system with energy storage, they will have the opportunity to obtain a surplus of energy, which then they can give back to the grid supplying them with another source of income in times of need. Another significant reason for agriculture to invest in renewable energy is because it is the future of energy. If farms want to last, their best bet is to go solar.

When Should Farmers Invest?

Investing in a large-scale solar photovoltaic project sooner, rather than later is highly beneficial. At this point, fossil fuels continue to rise and solar has dropped almost 80% in the last several years. Solar energy is the best alternative in favor of energy independence. As utility rates rise, a farmer’s investment will become even more valuable. Energy bills will decrease significantly, and when a tough obstacle appears, your solar energy system will take the weight off your shoulders.

The Benefits:

  •  Long-term energy savings that grow
  • Energy Independence
  • Another form of revenue for your farm and livelihood
  • Fuel your farm and home
  • Lease your land for solar development with no outlay of money required.

 

So, what should I expect solar energy to help farmers with?

Solar energy has the capability to supply your farm with energy to run motor, water pumping for irrigation in fields, for livestock, and pond management. For your building needs, solar energy can supply energy for lighting, ventilation, heating, air cooling, and much more. Anything that requires energy to be used has the possibility to be run on your solar energy system if you play your cars right.

Environmental Benefits for Farms:

  •  Solar energy decreases fossil fuel emissions in the atmosphere
  • Solar produces clean energy
  • Air quality improves and pollution decreases

 

Pope Energy Provides Solar Energy Projects

At Pope Energy, we specialize in the development of large-scale solar projects for land owners including farmers. With our solar development team, we have the capability to guide through every detail of the project with installation, development, production, and repair and maintenance.

If you’re a farmer, and you need help on energy savings and supply, contact Pope Energy at 855-767-3363. Your investment in solar energy can help save your livelihood of farming!

 

 

living off the grid with solar energy

Living Off-the-Grid with Solar Energy

This might be an extreme way of living in today’s society, but there are several places in Northern Canada with people and communities living the so-called “off-the-grid” lifestyle with major help from solar energy. Solar energy is playing a major role in the conservation of energy and the elimination of our carbon footprint already, but how is it impacting people trying to live a minimal and simple life?

Here is what we found about communities doing exactly that:

Extreme Living Situation

In Northern British Columbia, Canada, a family of seven is living off-the-grid and is utilizing solar energy to do so. Although, their solar energy system isn’t powering everything in their home. They do use solar to power several utilities in their home to reduce cost and energy.

They have two solar systems, which include one that generates 12-volt power to power lights, and smaller electronics. The other solar system is a 2.5-Kilowatt system located on their roof with a lithium ion battery bank to power the fridge, chest freezer, washing machine, mixer, blender and toaster. A backup generator is used but only when needed during cloudy and snowy seasons.

Life Off Grid

In 2016, a documentary was released about several individuals and families that are essentially living off the land all around Canada. Life Off Grid is a film that tells the tale of real people who have chosen to live their lives utilizing renewable energy.

What does Off-the-Grid Living Mean?

When it comes to solar energy and living off the grid, these people are generating their own energy, which means they aren’t using the commercial electrical grid in Canada. In the documentary, these people explain why they are doing this, and how it has been challenging, yet ultimately rewarding in the long run. Most of the people that were interviewed have similar views of the electrical grid. They would accept the invitation of being on the grid if it didn’t cost them any expenses. They’re using solar systems of their own to power their entire lives, which allows them to not need the commercial grid.

When you’re self-sufficient, you realize what is most important in life. The material world seems very unnecessary when money is a major priority.

What Does this Have to Do with Solar Companies?

A company like Pope Energy specializes in the production and maintenance of photovoltaic solar projects around the Northeast. We provide system owners, farmers, commercial real estate owners and landowners with a solar system where they can save money on energy and help the environment. Although living off-the-grid can be an extreme way of living, there are ways to save on energy costs, help the environment, and live better by investing in solar power. Pope Energy believes this and is dedicated to helping those get to that point. Contact us at 855-767-3363 today to learn more about our solar services and products!

Solar energy jobs in Massachusetts

Massachusetts to Grow Solar Jobs

The state of Massachusetts has been a leader in the solar energy industry in the United States. The state has set a precedent for all other states to follow their renewable energy agenda, so that the country can have a sustainable future. In Massachusetts, policy uncertainty is getting in the way of nonresidential development of solar energy, which means legislatures need to come together and make some changes.

Renewable jobs are growing across the United States, creating sustainable careers for hardworking Americans in some of the most fossil fuel-heavy states. It looks as if the coal industry is turning downwards once again.

Legislation Needs to Step Up with Solar

Legislation in the state of Massachusetts needs to work together with passing bills and keeping the Solar Massachusetts Energy Target on track for 2050. This means expanding the program by 3,200 megawatts for this to happen. There has been a stall on some solar progress in recent years, which has caused thousands to lose their solar energy jobs. Using compliance obligations already in force within existing legislation, regulators need to establish a fixed amount of solar DG as recommended by the Brattle Group Report, Achieving 80% GHG Reduction in New England by 2050. For Massachusetts, which consumes 45% of the electricity in ISO-NE, this fixed amount of solar that would need to be installed each year would equal 0.9 GW -2.5 GW of solar per year. A target of needing to install this level of solar would drive solar and interconnection policy with DOER, D.P.U. and MassDEP.

Allowing customers to adopt solar on not only a residential, but also a commercial scale will help the industry hire back the workers that have lost their jobs. This will help the state of Massachusetts reach a goal of net-zero carbon pollution by 2050, which was passed by the senate recently. If Massachusetts triples the SMART Program, Vote Solar figures it could create 8,000-9,000 new jobs and drive more than $5 billion in solar project investment into the state’s economy.

How Will Solar Energy Impact Jobs?

New renewable solar energy projects are much cheaper than keeping existing coal plants afloat. Building replacement wind and solar facilities will be much less expensive across the board by 2025. With the state’s trend for 100% clean energy goals, the demand for more jobs and workers to build solar panels and wind turbines is growing substantially. As long as legislation cooperates with passing bills on behalf of the clean energy movement, then jobs will be booming in this industry.

According to the National Solar Jobs Census, “Between 2014 and 2019, solar employment increased 44%, five times faster than job growth in the overall U.S. economy.”

 

In the state of Massachusetts, Pope Energy is taking initiative to provide commercial solar energy projects to customers around New England and in New York. If you’re looking to grow your business and be successful while helping to get to 100% clean energy in your state, contact Pope Energy at 855-767-3363!

 

industrial solar farm

What to Know About the World’s Largest Solar Project

The world’s largest solar project being built in the Middle East is at a record low for cost in solar price. It’s expected to be completed in 2022, and it will stand as the largest single-site solar energy project.

Why is this Solar Project So Cheap?

There are a few places in the Middle East going head to head in seeing if they can hold the record low for solar projects. In Dubai, a project that started in 2013 is looking to get up to 5 gigawatts by 2030. This project set the record low in November with a 1.7 U.S. cents deal for the next 900 megawatts of its solar park.

Qatar decided to take the reins in January with 1.6 cents per kilowatt-hour. Now, United Arab Emirates looks to have the record low again. A 40 percent stake will go to the winners and receive a 30-year PPA contract including construction, procurement, and operations and maintenance.

The Middle East Advantages

To have a successful solar project, there are many factors that have to be in place. In the Middle East, their advantage is the resources, which include large and flat sites, cheap land costs, cheap finance, and massive scale.

Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Affecting Production?

As it looks, there hasn’t been many hiccups with solar projects in the Middle East due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Even as many markets are currently in lockdown, the solar energy sector is still continuing to push their projects.

Pope Energy

At Pope Energy, we’re in the business of providing large-scale solar energy projects for the New England region of the United States. For landowners, real estate owners, farmers, and commercial building owners, solar energy can become a major importance for your business. A long-term investment in solar will pay off down the road.

Contact Pope Energy at 855-767-3363 today!

 

 

 

 

Solar Panels on Farm

The Impossible Solar Farms

Solar energy has become more affordable, beneficial, and accessible in the past several years, which has sparked a movement in the world. Unlikely solar farms are now popping up in parts of the world we never thought could be possible, and they’re working.

Even in places such as Alaska, they are implementing solar farms that are powering homes and towns. This seems so unlikely considering the little amount of sunlight the state of Alaska gets throughout the year.

Solar Farms Spreading All Over the State

Less than six hours of daylight in the winter months, it seems impossible for this farm to harness enough solar energy to power anything. Renewable IPP, an Alaskan Solar Company made this solar farm the largest in the entire state. This solar farm is capable of powering about 120 homes year-round with 11 rows of panels.

A more northerly solar farm is in Fairbanks, AK. Golden Valley Electric Association is just about 200 miles from the arctic circle and consists of a three-acre solar farm. This is the largest at this latitude in the state, even though there are smaller solar farms setup further north.

How Do They Give Us Enough Energy?

With all the snow and minimal sunlight in several parts of Alaska, we wonder how solar farms harness energy for homes and the power grid. Snow and ice can end up covering solar panels in the winter months, which means people have to be hired to clear the snow and ice off for the farms to work properly. In the month of December where it’s mostly dark, there is no reason to go out and keep clearing off the panels, so they let the snow build-up until the month of February.

Another technique these farms use is angling the solar panels, so that the snow will then slide off fairly easy making it less of a struggle clearing off the snow as frequently. New techniques are being implemented such as clear coating the panels to make them slippery.

There is a carbon cost of installing solar farms, but the cost outweighs the future carbon footprint. Alaska is a state where it’s experiencing some of the worst effects of climate change. The fact that solar farms are popping up and benefitting the grid in the state just means that there is no reason for other parts of the country or world to disregard solar energy production.

Pope Energy in Massachusetts

Pope Energy provides photovoltaic solar energy projects across the New England region, as well as New York. If you’re a commercial business owner, landowner, or farmer, consider investing in solar energy projects. Contact Pope Energy at 855-767-3363!

Solar jobs are growing

A Sustainable Future with Solar Energy

Many people around the country have a tough time with discontinuing the natural resources we have been using for energy for so many years. It’s tough to curb those old jobs in the oil and coal industry because generations have made a living and fed their families off of that income for years and years. The fact of the matter is that the world is changing drastically.

Climate change, renewable energy movement, and advancement in technology is naturally making way for renewable energy solutions to kick out the old ways. We can look forward to a brighter future and a healthier future with solar energy.

The Advancement of Solar Energy Technology

The advancement in technology for solar energy and solar energy storage is growing and improving. Solar energy storage research dating back to the 1980’s is being revisited by scientists as a viable option for solar energy storage.

The University of Texas has just recently developed a hybrid device that collects and stores sunlight in the form of heat for 24-hour use. It involves norbornadiene-quadricyclane, which is a compound of two hydrocarbons (organic molecules). This allows for a single hybrid system to avoid losses when energy is transferred from a collection device to a storage platform.

Solar Energy Jobs are Taking Over

In many towns and cities across the country where coal mining and oil companies once thrived, solar energy companies are starting to take over claim of the land and market.

According to High Country News, “In Colorado’s North Fork Valley, solar energy – along with a strong organic farm economy and recreation dollars – is helping to fill the economic hole left by the dying coal industry, which sustained the area for more than 120 years.”

In these areas, mines are closing down and hundreds, even thousands of jobs are being lost. Local governments and national environmental and climate groups are working to come up with solutions for the transition from fossil-fuel dependence in these communities to renewable energy dependence.

Solar Energy Will Benefit Our Children and Grandchildren

Thinking ahead to the future is a must when talking about solar energy and other renewable and green energy solutions. The long-term benefits of going 100% renewable with our energy resources from solar and other resources will give our children and their children a healthy and sustainable future. From cutting fossil-fuel emission to sustainable and organic farming, we can leave our children with a bright future.

This is most important right? We don’t want to leave our kids with a mess to clean up, and at that point, it could be too late and too catastrophic to fix. We are seeing a trend in many businesses and corporations hoping on the solar energy train. Agriculture is moving towards solar energy panels to help their farms. We can see many rewards of solar in the agricultural industry.

What it will provide our children for the future:

  • Lower energy bills
  • Economic growth
  • Job market increase
  • New Technology and solar companies
  • Cleaner and healthier environment
  • No pollution

If we continue to move towards 100% renewable energy, our children will benefit from a great life. We’re solving issues by doing so, and everyone can benefit from the use of solar energy. Pope Energy in Massachusetts is a leader in solar photovoltaic projects across many industries. From commercial real estate owners to farmers, we are helping everyone benefit from our solar energy projects. We also provide solar energy storage that can be used in many ways.

If you’re looking to invest in solar photovoltaic projects, Pope Energy is your best choice. Contact us today at 855-767-3363 to learn more about our services!

 

Solar energy for green environment

How Solar Energy Can Help Combat Climate Change

The world is changing drastically from climate change and global warming. The warnings are there from government officials, scientists, and environmental researches about the effects global warming is having on our planet. Renewable energy is what we are turning to help save our world because we need to act fast before it gets worse.

First things first, we need to talk about the definition of Global Warming vs. Climate Change:

Global Warming vs. Climate Change

Global warming is the heating of Earth’s climate after a long period of time from human factors, including fossil fuel burning and pollution. Burning fossil fuels raise greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere, which traps heat.

Climate change is a change in average weather patterns on Earth, including local, regional, and global climates. Burning fossil fuels raises the average surface temperature.

The Effects of These Two on the Environment: 

 

  • Land and Ocean Temperature Increases
  • Sea Levels Rising
  • Melting Ice in Earth’s Poles
  • Mountain Glacier Melting
  • Frequency and Severity of Hurricanes, Heatwaves, Wildfires, Droughts, Floods, Precipitation

 

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy are at the top of the world’s priority list. The natural process of the Greenhouse Effect is something that has been happening on this planet for millions of years. The problem is that there is an increase in Greenhouse Gases, which is negatively impacting the Earth’s atmosphere and temperature. The heat is increasing radically because of this effect resulting in consequences.

Solar Energy Impact on the Environment

Solar panels are one of the best ways to fight off climate change in our world. It’s a clean energy source that can be stored and recycled for individuals, businesses, and the electrical grid in towns and cities. The technology is beginning to get cheaper and more efficient, forcing the world to turn to the energy source.

The benefits of solar energy on the environment:

 

  • Reduces Air Pollution
  • Decreases Water Usage
  • Decreases Dependency on Nonrenewable sources
  • Reduces CO2 Emissions
  • Releases Fewer Pollutants

There is finally a consensus in the world from experiments, climate models, and research from scientists that solar is the route we need to take regarding our environmental issues. We can see all over the world that storms are beginning to increase in frequency and severity, ice caps are melting at the poles, and water levels rising. If we can harness the sun’s rays and create a healthy and clean environment on this planet, then we can start to solve some other problems around the world.

Solar Technology

Solar technology is becoming cheaper and more efficient, thanks to discoveries and inventions. Researches, scientists, and engineers are working hard to find a way to make solar the top dog in natural resources so that our dependency on nonrenewable and harsh resources.

Pope Energy 

At Pope Energywe develop and construct large-scale solar photovoltaic projects for system owners, landowners, and businesses. We are in the fight to make our grid much more efficient and cleaner for the planet. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, we serve throughout the state, as well as Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York.

If you’re a farmer, business owner, landowner, or system owner, contact Pope Energy at 855-767-3363 today to learn more about our solar energy projects and energy storage capabilities!

 

Solar energy in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Renewable Energy News

We’ve said this before, but we would like to emphasize this once more. Massachusetts is rapidly growing in the renewable energy race for great reasons. The state is witnessing a plethora of benefits to the grid and the environment when investing in renewable energy development and storage. Pope Energy is a part of the movement!

Moving to 100% Renewable Energy in the State

Renewable Energy businesses and lawmakers are moving towards 100% renewable energy in the state of Massachusetts. The clean energy coalition is hounding legislatures to pass legislation on making the state 100% renewable. 113 legislatures have endorsed the 100% Renewable Energy Act.

Mayors in the state of Massachusetts are also in support of going in this direction. This bill could help the state transition to renewable energy resources for electricity, heating, and transportation by the year 2045.

How will this impact the state?

Utilizing pollution free resources for energy like wind and solar will boost the economy, lower energy costs for businesses and homeowners, and make the environment a better place. Businesses should be considering investing in renewable energy resources for their own sake if they haven’t already.

Leading the Shift to Clean Energy

A small city in Massachusetts named Holyoke used to have the last coal-fired power plant and now contains the largest solar farm. This is just one example of the state leading the growth of clean energy in the country.

The state also created the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm due to the Atlantic Ocean located along the state’s coast. States such as Maryland and New York are watching Massachusetts boom in the growth of renewable energy, and they are shifting their own state to clean energy. It’s becoming a domino effect in states surrounding Massachusetts and it is continuing to grow around the nation.

It seems that the coastal states are taking charge, while the middle of America is slow to adopting these practices. We can see this because of population size and demographics in those regions.

The Challenge for Mass. and Other States

Cutting dependence on coal and oil brings the challenge of overusing natural gas, while developing offshore wind, onshore wind, and solar development throughout the state. The biggest downfall is the rising cost of relying on natural gas for consumers. The biggest challenge is utilizing technologies at a rapid pace, so that there is a mix of clean energy and natural gas.

Natural gas can swing to higher prices as seen in previous cases and years. Residents, business owners, and commercial business owners will benefit from investing in clean energy. Natural gas prices won’t increase if there is balance in the electricity mix. Pope Energy provides large-scale solar photovoltaic projects utilizing battery storage, energy efficiency, natural gas, and electricity procurement. We have the solutions for individuals and companies looking to help improve life.

Providing a balanced mix of natural gas, onshore and offshore wind energy, and large-scale solar and hydropower will cut fossil fuel emissions, provide economic benefits, and lower energy costs for individuals and businesses.

A Massachusetts Company: Pope Energy

Pope Energy is proud to be a part of the great state of Massachusetts in shifting towards 100% renewable energy. We are located in Boston, Massachusetts and serve the state, as well as Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and New York.

From solar development to financing solar projects, we are dedicated to push the state of Massachusetts to 100% renewable energy. We believe large-scale solar development coupled with energy storage will greatly benefit the economy, energy use, and environment for the future. The investment is what will help other states take charge in the movement.

Contact Pope Energy at 855-767-3363 today!

 

 

Solar Energy for the Agricultural Industry

The U.S. agriculture industry is taking a hit around the country. Midwest farmers are seeing a trend in bankruptcy over this past year. The farm debt in the Midwest is expected to hit over $400 billion, which is a bad sign for other farmers around the country. What is the solution? As the world starts to turn towards renewable resources, is the farming industry thinking the same?

How Solar Energy Can Help Farmers

Agriculture can benefit from solar energy in many different ways. We need to start thinking of new ways to help farms reduce energy costs and save them from debt and bankruptcy. If the country can help our farms become successful again through green energy, it will ultimately help the entire country out.

Solar energy on farms can help in these ways:

  • Reduce electricity and heating bills
  • Dry crops and warm homes, livestock buildings, greenhouses
  • Solar water heaters will provide hot water for dairy operations, pen cleaning, and homes
  • Solar panels will power farm operations, water pumps, lights, and electric fences
  • Land Lease revenue can very often exceed total farm income helping the farm stay in the business of farming.
  • Agricultural solar racking systems that hold the lower leading edge of the solar panels 8’-10’ above the grade allow for farming and grazing activities beneath the solar array.

Saving farmers money, increasing self-reliance, and reducing pollution will benefit the world greatly. Farmers also can benefit from wind energy. Renewable resources could provide farmers with a source of income for a very long time, which means it can help the growth of their main source of income, the crops that they grow.

Farms Can Harvest Energy from Solar Power

Cranberry farms in the United States are turning to solar energy to help save their farms, lower energy costs, and get back to making a living without being stressed out about their farms going under. Massachusetts is one of the largest cranberry-growing state in this country, and since this state is taking charge in renewable energy, they’re looking to build solar panels over the cranberry bogs. The plan would be to build the solar panels high enough over the cranberry bogs, so that they can grow safely and be harvested below.

The trick to building solar on farms is location. Experiments have been on-going to try and perfect the production of solar energy on farms. Scientists from studies have stated “In many cases, farmers and the nation’s future food supplies will benefit from having solar arrays in their fields, especially as climate change introduces more drought and searing temperatures to agricultural areas.”

Getting back to the Midwest, Indiana farmers are taking action into implementing an additional crop along with their soybeans and corn. The solar crop will produce clean, renewable energy that can help farm revenues for years to come. Adding this revenue source on farms will help save farms from going bankrupt and losing them all together.

The Importance of Solar Energy

As the world shifts drastically to this renewable energy source, we’re finding that the ceiling is very high for solar energy production in many industries. From agriculture to aerospace, everything is turning to green energy for revenue, lower energy bills, and cleaning up the environment. For farmers, this could be the next best thing for clean food and healthy eating.

In Massachusetts, Pope Energy is taking charge in solar photovoltaic power projects providing system owners, landowners, and businesses with development, engineering, procurement and operations, and maintenance. Partnering with farmers will help the growth of agriculture in the state of Massachusetts and the surrounding areas.

Pope Energy

At Pope Energy, we provide farmers and landowners with complete development, engineering, procurement, construction and operations and maintenance services for commercial and large-scale solar photovoltaic power projects. Contact Pope Energy at 855-767-3363 to find out more about how we can help you reduce your energy costs and improve food production on your farm!

Agriculture and Solar Energy Development in Massachusetts: A Thesis

Graduate student, Kathleen D. Nay is working towards her master’s in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University.

For her thesis, Nay decided to focus on the potential conflicts and synergies of both preserving farmland for agricultural use and utilizing the land for solar development.

View the memorandum and full thesis by clicking on the buttons below.

Massachusetts is both striving towards a strong agricultural economy in the region and fulfilling their commitment to the SMART program.

Solar Panels in MassachusettsNay’s thesis takes a look into the future of Massachusetts and how it’s green initiative can not only nourish the growth of the solar industry, but those same renewables can then help with farming.

This dual use of land holds many benefits for solar developers, farmers, and in general, the communities they inhabit.

Nay urges that though it may seem as though the two projects—farming and solar development—may seem like they’re competing for the same land, that is truly not the case.

Solar development does have the ability to expand farmland

By developing solar arrays that, structurally, could allow for agricultural use of the land as well, this renewable energy could enhance the success and viability of farm business and help to increase the number of acres in farming across Massachusetts.

Read Nay’s memorandum for a brief overview of her research conducted to discern the conflicts and synergies of these two compatible uses of land.

Then we urge you to read her thesis submitted to Tuft University, where you can learn more about the farmers and solar developers that she was able to speak with in Massachusetts.

We at Pope Energy, were lucky enough have the opportunity to speak with Nay and give our thoughts on not only preserving farmland through solar development but expanding it.