USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program Helps a Nebraska Stable Owner Cut Power Purchases by an Estimated 76 Percent
Colby Creek Stables, a horse stable facility located near Ithaca, Nebraska, in Saunders County offers a number of amenities for horses and riders, including a large indoor arena, heated barn aisles, and ventilated horse stalls. The operation requires a substantial amount of electrical power. Thanks to USDA, the purchase price of that electricity is dropping sharply.
The owners of the stables, Mark and Tara Timm, were interested in renewable energy options to offset the power needs of their operation and to, in the near future, take it off the grid completely. The Timms determined that a combination, or “hybrid application”, of wind and solar power would be most beneficial for their operation.
USDA Rural Development provided a $20,000 grant from the Rural Energy for America Program to offset the equipment and installation expenses of the project.
During the spring of 2010 the Timms installed a Bergey BWC Excel 10 kilowatt (kWh) class wind turbine and an array of 18 Sanyo photovoltaic solar panels. The Bergey BWC Excel wind turbine has an estimated annual energy output of 15,637 kWh and will begin producing power with just seven and one-half miles per hour wind. Each Sanyo photovoltaic panel has a total output power of 210 watts, for a total annual potential of 4,969 kWh of power. The hybrid application of the two technologies provides an estimated 76 percent replacement of Colby Creek Stables’ prior energy usage. At times of low energy needs, power is sent back into the grid.
The Timms are evaluating the cost effectiveness of the combination of the wind and solar systems and they are considering the implementation of additional solar panels for future use.
For more information about how USDA renewable energy programs could benefit your farm, ranch or business click here.