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Photovoltaics for Farms and Ranches

Photo of cows and a photovoltaic powered water pump.

Photovoltaic power can be used to pump water for livestock.

The following resources will provide you with more information on the uses of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on farms and ranches, as well as guides to buying and installing a solar energy system. If you are unfamiliar with this technology, see the introduction to PV systems.

General Information

Energy Savers: Solar Energy Applications for Farms and Ranches
Basic information about using solar energy on farms and ranches from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Own Your Power! A Consumer Guide to Solar Electricity
This 16-page booklet from the U.S. Department of Energy provides information about how you can use solar energy at home.

Outdoor Solar Lighting
Basic information about purchasing and using outdoor solar lighting from DOE.

How Small Solar Electric Systems Work
Basic information about small photovoltaic systems.

Solar Tools

NREL Solar Radiation Data Manual for Flat-Plate and Concentrating Collectors
Allows you to find out the average, minimum, and maximum amount of solar energy available at your location, by month or for the entire year.

Solar Financing

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Energy for America Program
A grant and loan program to help farmers, ranchers, and rural small businesses invest in energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency
Provides information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy.