Middle Tennessee farm uses solar power to save costs

Published May 9, 2016

Channel 4 News – Nancy Amons – May 6, 2016

Technology is helping one of Middle Tennessee’s biggest farms to save hundreds of dollars every month.

Delvin Farms in College Grove recently installed new solar panels.

Hank Delvin of Delvin Farms has a terrific crop this year thanks to the right amount of wind, rain and sunshine.

Because of all that sunshine, Delvin said he’s expecting a very different electric bill this year.

Delvin Farms installed 122 solar panels on the roofs of two of their farm buildings. Together they will supply 100 percent of the power the business needs.

“You know, it’s kind of nice,” Delvin said. “When I first came out here, when I first turned it on, I would go over there every hour and check to see how much it was generating.”

The farm’s electric bill was once $900 a month, but not anymore. So far, Delvin said the farm has saved about $500 worth of electricity in the first 20 days.

Delvin said he had considered going solar for year. They are the last organic produce farm in the state.

Solar prices have gone down in the last 10 years, and Delvin said the time was right.

“It was a good time to make the investment,” he said.

That investment cost about $100,000, but Delvin said it should pay for itself in five to seven years. Grants and tax incentives also help offset the cost.

“We’re really excited to be able to producer our own green renewable energy and offset everything we use for the business,” Delvin said.

Anyone interested in buying a share in a local farm and receiving fresh produce every week should consider joining a CSA, or community supported agriculture. A fair will be held Saturday at the Franklin Farmers’ Market with more than a dozen CSA farmers.