February 9, 2016
Renewvia Energy Corporation, an Atlanta-based solar development firm, is helping bolster Georgia’s agriculture sector with renewable energy technology that provides increased profitability through decreased energy costs. Since the launch of both the Tennessee Valley Authority Green Power Providers program in 2009 and more recently Georgia Powers’ Advance Solar Initiative (ASI), Renewvia has partnered with multiple large agricultural entities to help them take advantage of the power savings and capitalize on an aggressive return on investment through federal tax credits.
With a contribution of more than $72.5 billion annually to Georgia's $786.5 billion economy, agriculture is the main driver of the state's economic engine, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness & Economic Development. The 2013 total Farm Gate Value for the state was $13.6 billion. Agriculture is also a primary source of employment for Georgians, with one in seven in the state working in agriculture, forestry or related fields. In 2012 there were 42,257 farms in Georgia encompassing 9,620,836 acres of land with an average size of 228 acres per farm.
Recently, Renewvia completed the construction of solar arrays for two Georgia-based agriculture companies, the American Peanut Growers Group, LLC and Baxter Brothers Poultry Farm, a Koch Foods hatchery.
Renewvia Energy helps American Peanut Growers Group and Baxter Brothers Poultry Farm increase profits by decreasing energy costs with solar.
American Peanut Growers Group, LLCAmerican Peanut Growers Group, LLC (APGG) is a peanut processing facility established in 2003 by 86 peanut growers from Donalsonville, Georgia. Current operation of the facility generates in excess of 170 million pounds of raw shelled peanuts per year. In 2015, APGG selected Renewvia to engineer, design, procure and construct their most recent and largest solar project to date. The 1 MW solar system is designed to produce approximately 1.5 million kilowatt hours per year and works in conjunction with a 20-year Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI) buy-back program. The guaranteed solar power purchase agreement with Georgia Power means that APGG is protected against rising energy costs for decades. The solar array is capable of offsetting over 1m kg of CO2 and provides over 40 percent of the company’s total power consumption annually. “Presently American Peanut Growers Group is able to re-gain 60-65 percent of our annual energy cost with our solar investments. Georgia Power’s solar buy-back guarantee along with the Federal tax credits and depreciation has certainly made solar a wise choice for us,” said Mitchell Burke, Chief Operations Officer, American Peanut Growers Group.
Baxter Brothers Poultry Farm
Renewvia Energy also completed multiple solar projects totaling 200KW of installed solar photovoltaic power on newly constructed state-of-the-art poultry hatcheries for the Baxter Brothers Poultry Farm. The hatcheries total over 400,000-square-feet of the most modern facilities in the poultry industry and are capable of growing over five million birds annually.
The solar systems will offset over 50 percent of the total cost required to operate the facility, as well as reduce the carbon footprint of the operation by thousands of tons each year. The Baxter Brothers Poultry Farm hatcheries are also using energy efficient LED lighting to further reduce utility power requirements. This project was the first new construction build in the TVA Green Power Providers Program.“By incorporating solar into the initial design of our hatchery, we were able to capitalize on the solar improvements through the conventional financing of the development supported by collateralization of the plants and coverage from the solar operations. The financial advantages created from the solar cash flows will be realized for decades to come,” said Corey Baxter, co-owner of Baxter Brothers Poultry Farm.
Focusing primarily on both large- and small-scale cattle, poultry, cotton, and peanut producers, Renewvia approaches each opportunity with the client’s business goals in mind. Each relationship begins with an in-depth analysis of the operation’s current energy profile, and the financial incentives and rebates available from the local utility and the government. This is followed by a detailed financial analysis of the ownership group and subsequent cash flow model identifying the long-term value of the proposed solution.“Renewvia is experienced in partnering with the agricultural community to develop and construct long-term solar solutions that allow farmers to own a significant portion of their power, which helps them to hedge against future increases in energy prices,” said Eric Domescik, President of Renewvia Energy. “In many cases it makes sense for famers to own the solar array outright, taking full advantage of all the available tax benefits and aggressive solar power buy-back rates. However, in situations where the producer is unable to utilize the available tax benefits and maximize potential return, Renewvia can offer creative financing solutions that allow both parties to benefit from a successful project execution.”
In addition to U.S.-based projects, Renewvia is expanding across the globe with recent projects completed in Latin America, Kenya, and Saipan.
About Renewvia Energy designs, installs, owns, and operates commercial and utility solar power systems. The company provides a complete range of solar energy solutions, including turnkey solar installation, integrated financing and solar consulting services. Renewvia solar power plants reside in multiple geographies, interconnecting to numerous utilities under complex and challenging financing structures. For more information, visit www.renewvia.com.