The solar projects will offset nearly 80 percent of the electricity consumption on two large growing sites. The systems will utilize just six acres of farmland, most of which is unproductive.
Expected energy savings of the project over the next 25 years could be about $12 million.
Alta Energy worked with Merrill Farms to place the solar systems on mostly unproductive areas of two ranches in order to preserve as much fertile acreage for crop production as possible.
“My family has been stewards of the land since 1933,” said Ross Merrill, CEO of Merrill Farms. “We intend to continue this tradition using best practices and new technologies.”
Merrill Farms qualified for federal income tax credits and other financial advantages to help pay for the cost of installation through energy savings.
Merrill Farms is a fourth-generation fruit and vegetable grower in the Salinas Valley. Founded in 1933, Merrill Farms grows lettuce, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, onions, raspberries, strawberries and specialty crops. Learn more about Merrill Farms at www.merrillfarms.com.
Alta Energy is an independent renewable energy analytics and procurement company that enables commercial farmers to identify and complete cost-effective renewable energy projects with confidence. www.altaenergyinc.com