Dairy Science Department
BS in Dairy Science
The objective of this paper was to determine the financial benefits of installing a PV solar system on a dairy farm in California to create a more efficient and profitable business. The data used was based off Fernoak Farms electrical bills from Southern California Edison before and after solar installation. The background knowledge of how PV solar systems work and their design was incorporated, along with the research of the past, present, and future solar markets. The characteristics of energy consumption on an average dairy farm is given to show the amount of electricity needed to keep the dairy facility running daily. The significance of government, state, and utility incentives were examined in order to determine the benefits. Fernoak Farms chosen system design was described to help evaluate the efficiency of the solar system, as well as the evaluation of leasing the solar system from Farm Credit West for ten years. It was determined that installing a solar system on a dairy farm can offset electricity costs and cover 100% of electrical usage on the dairy farm. Fernoak Farms will save $102,307.12 after the first year with solar activation and $1,145,396 in accumulative savings on their electricity bill over ten years. Leasing the solar system allowed Fernoak Farms to avoid any upfront costs, and at the end of 25 years the solar system will save the business $6,210,726 in accumulative savings.