Strain Ranches, a diversified agricultural operation in Arbuckle, Calif., has commissioned one of the nation’s largest farm-based solar installations to power its commercial rice drying and storage business. This 902-kilowatt system features solar panels from Solar World, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, and Enphase microinverters. Strain Ranches is an intensive user of electricity with its 12,000 acres of California farm land for the production of nuts, rice and alfalfa. This system is ground-mounted and comprises about 3,760 SolarWorld panels and covers nearly 3 acres adjacent to the company’s rice-drying facility. The new system will hold the capacity to be able to virtually eliminate the utility costs associated with the rice dryer. Dane Nissen, a warehouse manager for Strain Ranches comments, ““We invested in solar because it provides a reliable return on investment and makes sound financial sense, and choosing American-made solar technology strengthens that sense of reliability.” The project incorporates the Enphase microinverter system from Enphase Energy of Petaluma, Calif., and is one of the largest ground-mounted projects in the world to use microinverter technology. This is a great step forward in the use of solar technology in agriculture, which can help American farmers and ranchers stay competitive by lowering energy costs.
Source: News release- Northern California ranch energizes about 1 MW of SolarWorld solar panels