Suniva Inc. and Nuance Energy Group Inc. will power Buttonwillow, Calif.-based almond grower Bushnell Farms and Three & One Farm with a new solar installation.
Suniva OPTimus panels are being installed by Nuance Energy Group and its solar contracting division, AgWell Solar, to bring 824 kilowatts of solar power to the growing operations, both owned by the Bushnell family.
The technology is expected to offset cost increases for 2016 that the Bushnells and others will face as Pacific Gas & Electric moves AG-ICE — or agricultural internal combustion engine incentive — participants to a higher rate. The 10-year AG-ICE plan expires Dec. 31, to be succeeded by AG5.
“The rate change would cost the two Bushnell family ag operations more than $136,000 in 2016,” Brian Boguess, president of Nuance Energy, said in the release. “However, by going solar and converting to an AG4 rate plan, AgWell Solar will save the Bushnell family an estimated $208,000 next year.”
“We realized we would need an alternative plan to avoid a significant rate increase imposed by PG&E,” Julia Bushnell, owner of Bushnell Farms, said in the release. “Our decision to go solar was an easy one. After doing the math, we determined that our solar installations would reduce our utility costs by 71%.”
Suniva, Norcross, Ga., is promoting its OPTimus modules and Nuance Energy’s Osprey PowerPlatform solar racking structures for use by California agricultural companies.