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In 2020, The Maschhoffs, a leading pork producer, faced doubled energy costs at their primary feed mill in Griggsville, Illinois. Recognizing the critical role of energy in their operations, which supports the health of 150,000 sows, The Maschhoffs needed a solution to combat rising costs and ensure uninterrupted power and optimal feed production.
The Maschhoffs’ situation reflects a broader issue in America’s agriculture sector, where rising energy costs threaten competitiveness and sustainability. With increasing pressures for more sustainable practices in farming, finding a renewable energy solution was imperative.
Solential Energy was brought on board in 2019 to address these challenges. After evaluating the Griggsville mill’s energy use and utility rates, Solential proposed a solution incorporating microgrids, solar PV, and energy storage. The decision was influenced by federal and state incentives, especially the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) offered by the State of Illinois.
In 2022, Solential commissioned a 3.06-megawatt solar array on 11 acres next to the mill, offsetting over 50% of the mill’s energy consumption. The first-year energy savings are projected at $320,000, with state SREC incentives increasing the annual financial impact to about $700,000. Thanks to federal tax credits and depreciation, this solar solution is expected to pay for itself in five years, providing a long-term, sustainable energy source for The Maschhoffs.
This project not only advances The Maschhoffs’ sustainability goals but also represents a significant stride in agricultural energy solutions. The partnership between The Maschhoffs and Solential Energy showcases the potential for renewable energy to transform energy-intensive industries, ensuring profitability and environmental responsibility.