Financial help is attainable
A project of this scope would not have been feasible without economic incentives, Rainey says. The dairy secured a federal grant that covered 30 percent of the project’s total cost. It also receives 4.4 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first five years through a state incentive program. Together, the financial help will defray about 47 percent of the $2.9 million project. Accelerated tax depreciation was another avenue that helped offset the project’s cost.
In Idaho, Ballard Family Dairy & Cheese also trimmed its solar project costs through financial aid. With the help of Site Based Energy, LLC, the energy-management company that helped the Ballards design and build the system, they secured $66,000 in federal grants, as well as tax savings and efficiency incentives from Idaho Power, its local utility provider.