Agriculture Solar Electric Investment

Agricultural Solar Electric Investment Analysis Webinar Series

Webinar overview

Photovoltaic panels are an increaslingly common sight on urban rooftops and rural properties across the U.S. The declining cost of equipment and installation makes installing a behind-the-electric-meter solar electric system enticing to many farmers. Evaluating the financial prudence of an investment in solar requires careful consideration of installation costs, the value of production, and operation maintenance costs. This six part webinar series will provide valuable, practical guidance to farmers who are considering investing in a solar electric system so they are able to make fully informed investment decisions. 

Webinar instructors

Each webinar was taught by Eric Romich (Ohio State University Extension) and John Hay (University of Nebraska Extension) and hosted by Charles Gould and Al Go  (Michigan State University Extension). The webinar is based on a six part bulletin series developed by energy specialists from The University of Wyoming and Ohio State University.

Webinar descriptions

Part 1Estimating System Production 

Description: Site-specific factors can influence the amount of electricity produced by a photovoltaic installation.

Accompanying bulletin: Estimating System Production 


Part 2: Assessing System Cost 

Description: From initial costs to incentives to ongoing insurance expense, the present and expected costs dominate the decision to install a photovoltaic system.

Accompanying bulletin: Assessing System Cost 


Part 3: Forecasting the Value of Electricity

Description: Utility and governmental policies affect how much electricity is work. Not all electrons are created equal.

Accompanying bulletin: Forecasting the Value of Electricity


Part 4: Understanding Incentives 

Description: Federal, state, and local incentives can greatly affect the financial viability of a photovoltaic installation

Accompanying bulletin: Understanding Incentives 


Part 5: Conducting a Financial Analysis

Description: Accurately evaluating the viability of a photovoltaic system requires understanding financial concepts, such as simple payback, net present value, and the levelized cost of energy. Preferences for risk, environmental attributes, and independence also inform these measures of viability. 

Accompany bulletin: Conducting a Financial Analysis 


Part 6: Photovoltaic Solar Example 

Description: The importance of accurate evaluation is clear when applied to a hypothetical project.

Accompanying bulletin: PV Solar example

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