TN Hog Farm Goes Solar

Published February 9, 2017

Solar-powered bacon!

Late last year we were lucky enough to spend some time installing at Engelgarten, LLC, in Bradyville, TN. Farm owners Lorna and Peter Dumas specialize in raising American Guinea Hogs.

“For the homestead farmer, this is the best hog to raise,” says Lorna Dumas. “The Guinea hog is hearty, healthy, easy to work with, and they especially like a good belly rub,” she adds.

According to Lorna, this particular breed of hog was once used extensively by homesteaders here in the Southeast but is currently endangered because it fell out of favor with the public after the pork industry set its guidelines for a leaner hog. Interest in the breed has been renewed as chefs are now actively seeking this pork for its tender delicious flavor.

Peter and Lorna Dumas are almost as passionate about solar as they are about Guinea hogs.

“Solar has been a lifelong dream of ours,” explains Lorna. “We try to be good stewards of this earth, and when we saw our chance to go solar, we were ecstatic,” she says.

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Engelgarten Guinea Hog Farm

Their 6.5 kilowatt system will generate about 8,585 kWh of electricity per year which amounts to about $800 annually. Engelgarten chose to have their system supported by battery backup for increased self sufficiency. They no longer have to worry if the electric goes out when incubating chicken eggs or freeze-drying food from their garden. Because their well system is electric, they won’t have to worry about being without water. The Guinea hogs are even kept within solar powered electric fencing.

“I would tell anyone looking to have a solar array installed that it is easy to care for and warrants the investment,” says Lorna. “We have had a lot of rain and cloudy weather since our installation, but we are still seeing a marked difference in our electric bill,” she says.

In addition to the 30% federal tax credit and accelerated depreciation, Engelgarten was eligible for the 25% USDA solar energy grant. LightWave Solar helped them apply for the grant, and their application was approved! The next grant application deadline is March 31. Eligible applicants include agricultural producers who earn more than half of their income from farming, or any small rural businesses located in area with a population under 50,000.

“I would certainly recommend LightWave Solar – they are the best”, says Lorna. “From the start of project to it’s completion, they kept us informed, asked and answered questions, were friendly, courteous, prompt and did an awesome job,” she says.