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Iowa Pork Industry Warming Up to Solar Power

DES MOINES, Iowa- The Iowa Pork Congress for 2018 is underway with 5000 people expected to attend. The show features some 500 booths with exhibits around the pork industry.

One growing area of companies selling their product here, is the solar industry.

“It’s been a great growth in a pork industry and farms in general with power usage being up especially in the barns,” said Jeremy Pierson of Iowa Wind and Solar, a Fairfield Iowa firm. “We’re showing a great benefit in reducing or eliminating the power bill.”

The company just completed a solar array on the top of a hog barn in southeast Iowa. A large project like that could cost between $80,000 to $100,00. The projects are made possible due to a 30% federal tax credit, and a 15% Iowa tax credit.

“Actually, with the new tax law changes you can now depreciate the purchase 100% the first yea,” said Kirk Kriesel, of Artisun Solar, in Kansas City. “Most of our customers see their money back in 3 to 5 years but there is a pretty stiff significant upfront investment.”

The solar firms are looking for business in the hog industry, but also still do commercial, municipal, and even solar for residential owners. The main thing, is a good southern exposure for sunlight.

“Try to get to be as net zero as possible,’ said Pierson. “It does fluctuate every month, but we do try to get most of the power bill covered for the year.”