Integrating Renewable Energy into your Farm Plan

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Integrating Renewable Energy into your Farm Plan

  1. 1. Integrating Renewable Energy into Your Sustainable Farm
  2. 2. • Scenic Valley Farms • Scenic Valley Green Energy • Wind Energy • Solar Energy • Solar Thermal Overview • SVF Solar Thermal Design • Temperature Data Loggers • Economics • Payback/ROI Overview
  3. 3. • Designs and manages high tunnels, climate control systems, and solar thermal heating technology • Five high tunnels in Minnesota and Wisconsin • Produces organically certified tomatoes, peppers, blackberries, raspberries, herbs, and leafy green produce • Decades of agriculture and engineering experience Scenic Valley Farms
  4. 4. ScenicValley Green Energy • Solid, long-term investment • Generate income from electricity • Promote sustainability by reducing C02 emissions • Gain energy independence and protection from volatile electricity prices • Offset tax liabilities Affordable, Clean Energy from SmallWindTurbines for Homes, Farms, Businesses, Public Facilities and Investors
  5. 5. Sustainable High Tunnel Agriculture + Renewable Energy (SHARE-d) High Tunnels
  6. 6. • Joint venture high tunnel greenhouses • Environmentally and financially sustainable • Provides reliable supply of locally grown, organic produce • Excess produce sold on the open market • Harvest fruits and vegetables at optimum ripeness and flavor • Increases yields and extends the growing season • Merges the technologies to earn a rapid return on investment Sustainable Agriculture. Clean Energy.
  7. 7. • Hybrid of open field and greenhouse production • Non-permanent structures • Less expensive than greenhouses • Crops planted in ground to ensure superior taste • Create 12 month growing season • Constructed with steel hoops, covered with heat retaining, light dispersing, anti-drip plastic • Plastic efficiently rolled up and down to manage air flow • Drip irrigation optimizes water and natural fertilizer inputs. • Versatile in size and shape • Incentives available at Federal and State levels High Tunnel Agriculture
  8. 8. Environmental Management System (EMS) • Inexpensive climate control system for high tunnels • User monitors and controls the climate from touch screen PLC, laptop, or Smartphone • Ventilation, irrigation, and heating are monitored and controlled on-site or remotely • SVF awarded $100,000 USDA Small Business Innovation Research Grant • Testing at SVF high tunnels in both Minnesota and Wisconsin • Expected operational date: March 2011 • Potential SBIR Phase II Commercialization Grant in 2013
  9. 9. EMS Layout
  10. 10. Small Wind Energy Overview • Turbines of 100 kW or less in size • Generates electricity for SHARE farms • Creates income from excess electricity • Solid, long-term investment • Investors receive federal, state, and utility grants • Offsets investors’ tax liabilities • Eliminates operational C02 emissions Incentives • Federal Investment Tax Credit or Grant (30%) • USDA Rural Energy for America Program (25%) • Accelerated Depreciation (30% for 30% tax bracket) • Wisconsin Small Renewable Energy System Grant (25%) • Electric Utility Grants (varies) • Sale of excess electricity (≤ 40 kW)
  11. 11. Small Wind Energy Systems: A Valuable, Widely-Available Resource Installed cost of $2-$3/Watt is 1/3 to 1/2 that of solar technologies Require less wind to operate than utility-scale wind energy applications
  12. 12. Wind Class Designations •Areas designated class 3 or greater are suitable for most utility- scale wind turbine applications • Whereas class 2 areas are marginal for utility-scale applications but may be suitable for rural applications • Class 1 areas are generally not suitable, although a few locations (e.g., exposed hilltops not shown on the maps) with adequate wind resource for wind turbine applications may exist • The degree of certainty with which the wind power class can be specified depends on three factors: •the abundance and quality of wind data; •the complexity of the terrain •and the geographical variability of the resource.
  13. 13. • A single 30 kW wind turbine displaces the CO2 produced by 5 cars • A total of 50 turbines of 65 MW each: – Offset the CO2 emissions released by 10,000 cars – Power 7,000 homes – Displace 60,000 tones of CO2 annually Environmental Impacts
  14. 14. • Web based e-commerce (operational on SVF website) • Provides up to date information on fresh produce for sale • Orders processed by credit card, check, or money order • Buyers communicate order notes to producer • Joint venture members given priority access to produce • Designed for wholesale buyers, restaurants, grocer co-ops • Open to registered users who complete a profile Online Produce Market
  15. 15. Solar Thermal Heating • Solar panels collect heated air • Fans circulate heated air below ground • Warms soil and air temperatures • Extends growing season to allow for additional crops and harvests • Reduces propane fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions • Qualifies for 30 percent Federal Investment Tax Credit • Reduces active income tax liability
  16. 16. Solar Thermal HT Components Heat Sink • 29’x95’x4’ hole • 2” rigid insulation • 25 dump truck loads of sand Heat exchanger • 3600’ of 4” drain tile (perforated- open system, non perforated-closed system) • Inline FanTek blower fans – thermostatically controlled - upper and low limit • Distribution boxes (manifolds) Solar collectors • Black plastic on high tunnel floor • Flat plate collectors – for closed system
  17. 17. Site Preparation and Excavation
  18. 18. Lay drain tile, cover with sand, install distribution boxes and fans, finish high tunnel
  19. 19. Solar Thermal Produce
  20. 20. • Three 30’x96’ high tunnels in Readsown, WI • HT1 - conventional with single layer • HT2 - solar thermal (ST) with double layer • HT3 - conventional with double layer • Used temp data logger to record temps every 30 minutes, 24/7 • Research Nov 2011 to present • Temp data logger in soil, inside tunnel, outside • Periodic reading of logger data • Soil data logger in HT2 failed in May 2011 High Tunnel Temperature Research
  21. 21. Data Logger Conclusions • Double poly layer raises night time air temps ≈ 7 F • Solar thermal with double layer raises night time air temps ≈ 20 F • Solar thermal soil temp reached 55F by March 15th • Tomato Planting Schedule • Outside May 23 • Conventional HT April 10 - some heat • Solar Thermal HT March 15 – some heat • Final Tomato Harvest Dates • Outside Sept 23 • Conventional HT Oct 23 – some heat • Solar Thermal HT Nov 24 – some heat
  22. 22. • Boost fruit and vegetable yields up to 400% compared to field grown produce • Steady, reliable supply of organic produce • Purchase produce at wholesale distributor rates • Harvest and deliver fruits and vegetables at optimum ripeness and flavor • Create a year round growing environment • Meet consumer demand on either end of the production curve when competition is lower and prices are higher • Produce higher percentage of grade A fruit and vegetables • Meet the increasing demand for locally grown produce • Grow healthier, safer produce with less risk of contamination • Cost effectively expand the scale of organic farming • Shorten shipping distances = lower freight costs • Create new regional produce SHARE-d Economic Benefits
  23. 23. Creating a Year Round Season Spinach Harvested on January 15th Ripe Gold Medal Heirlooms on November 4th Fall Bearing Blackberries on November 14th
  24. 24. Improves Produce Quality Tomatoes planted at same time in spring High Tunnel Grown Outdoor Grown
  25. 25. • Shorter distance to market cuts fuel usage • Solar power reduces carbon emissions • Drip irrigation conserves water • Natural compost replenishes the soil • Organic mulching reduces erosion • Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers eliminated • Crops protected from climate and weather extremes • Disease, pest, and insect control inputs reduced • Respond to water shortages in other regions of the country SHARE-d Environmental Benefits
  26. 26. Boosting Produce Yields • Yields typically 200- 300% higher in high tunnels • Our organic determinate tomato yields in 2011 = 20+ lbs per plant in solar thermal HT • Established goal of 25-30 lbs/plant in 2012 SVF high tunnels outperformed yields at University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 7/15/2011 8/15/2011 9/15/2011 10/15/2011 Averagemarketablelbsperplant SVF Weekly Determinate Tomato Harvest (2011) SVF High Tunnels Total = 19.5 lbs per plant
  27. 27. Economics HT0- Single layer no automation HT1 – Single layer HT3 – Double layer HT2- Solar Thermal High tunnel (30’x96’) , not including installation $8500 $8000 $8500 Irrigation and controller, trellis, fertigation tank $1200 $1400 $1400 Plants and seeds, tomatoes, spinach $400 $400 $400 End walls, side boards, door hardware, screws $800 $800 $800 Motorized rollup sides w/thermostat $0 $900 $900 Heater w/thermostat $0 $350 $350 Ventilation & Circulation w/thermostat $0 $650 $650 Plastic mulch $300 $300 $300 Total Expenses (not including labor) $11200 $12800 $13300 $35000 Income* $20000(est) $28000 $36380 $45811 Pricing *Tomato= $2.25/# Spinach= $6.00/# Cash Flow Handouts Support HT2 & HT3 Income
  28. 28. Estimated Return on Investment
  29. 29. Contact Us Craig Gundacker (612) 961-3871 cegundacker@scenicvalleyfarms.com Erik Gundacker (563) 650-3654 gun@usinternet.com www.scenicvalleyfarms.com

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