Montna Farms owner Al Montna is committed to sustainable agriculture. He created extensive habitat for wildlife on his Yuba City, Calif. rice farm, helped neighboring farmers stop the environmentally damaging practice of burning rice stubble and educated them on ways to protect the local water supply. His commitment to farming and the environment lead him to be named a finalist for the Leopold Conservation Award in 2008, an award recognizing landowners' sustainability efforts.
For Montna, going solar was a natural extension of his environmental commitment, and he thanks SolarCity's experienced team for designing a system that optimized his resources.
Harnessing the Power of the Sun
Montna Farm's solar power station produces 725,000 kW each year and is expected to offset 805,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Switching to solar provided additional benefits to the farm, such as cutting energy costs and sheltering the business from future power-related cost spikes. The system currently provides 65 percent of the 2,500 acre farm's high-energy needs.
"With nearly six decades of farming experience, Montna Farms has a history of practicing responsible stewardship of our resources to ensure sustainability," says Montna. "We're delighted to be harnessing the sun to power our rice drying operation, which relies on large, energy-intensive air blowers."
Custom Design for Maximum Results
Siemens Building Technologies, SolarCity and Montna Farms worked together to develop and scope a solar project that leveraged the latest technology to fit the site's energy needs. For Montna Farms, SolarCity made use of open space on the property, designing a series of ground-mounted arrays. A special single-axis horizontal tracker follows the sun, maximizing the system's energy production.
"I wanted to use solar power to protect the environment and control my farm's energy costs," says Montna. "SolarCity's experienced designers and installers really showcased their skills, building a system that provides the maximum results for my investment."
"Montna Farms has a unique understanding of the importance of protecting the natural environment that also sustains its business," said Lyndon Rive, SolarCity's chief executive officer. "We're trying to do our part by making clean power more affordable, so that it can be not only the right environmental decision, but the right economic decision as well."