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Energy and Environment

Johnson County Cattle Farmer Uses Solar Panels To Add Income To His Farm

Solar Panels On Johnson Co Farm
Benjy Jeffords
/
WSIU
Solar Panels On Johnson Co Farm

Solar panels are showing up more and more on homes and businesses, but now they’re showing up on farms.

Mike Harris is a financial representative for Country Financial, he also has a cattle farm in Johnson County.

Last October he had solar panels installed on his barn and he’s seen his $200 monthly power bill start to disappear since then.

“It’s zero for July, it was $2 for June, it was $7 for April.”

The size of his barn produces enough energy back into the power grid that he’ll recoup his out of pocket expense in three years.

“With my tax credits and energy savings and in three years it’s all positive, I will have no electric bill in to the future as long as this last which could be 20 or 30 years and with the way it’s designed and the size, I should be making a few dollars off of it year too in the future so it’s also an income source for the farm.”

Harris says he’ll receive a 26% federal rebate and up to a 40% rebate from Illinois off the $48,000 solar investment on his farm.