In Oregon, where organically grown food is almost a given, solar power for farms seems a natural extension of the sustainability ethic. Throw in a handful of government programs that encourage solar – including one opening up and another that might be ending – and that’s enough to mount a solar-power marketing campaign aimed specifically at agriculture.
The company is Synchro Solar, which said it would help solar-curious farmers take advantage of bulk pricing while receiving technical assistance in applying for the upcoming Oregon Feed-in-Tariff program. The company noted, as well, that the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) fades to black at the end of June, barring action by the legislature, lending additional urgency to the promotion.
Under the Oregon Feed-in-Tariff program, guaranteed payments are available to Portland General Electric, Pacific Power and Idaho Power customers who supply the utilities with electricity sourced from solar systems. The next reservation period is April 1, and Synchro Solar touted its ability to provide guidance in tackling the paperwork necessary for the limited, first-come, first-served program. In previous rounds, feed-in-tariff program reservations were snapped up within minutes.
The company also noted that funding could be available under the federal government’s Section 1603 cash grant program and under an accelerated depreciation programs that allows the cost of a renewable energy project to be written off in a single year instead of over five years.