Solar Panels Will Add Zing to Horseradish Growing Operation
Huntsinger Farms, the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish and the parent company of Silver Spring Foods, announced Dec. 5 it has won a $28,903 Focus on Energy grant to subsidize a new solar power installation on its farm just outside Eau Claire. Carlson Electric of Hudson will install the solar farm next spring. The Huntsinger Farm solar project will be one of the first farm solar installations in Wisconsin. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, less than 2% of energy in Wisconsin is generated by solar power today.
BMO Harris Bank will provide further financing for the project. At least 40,000 attendees at Farm Technology Days 2020 Eau Claire (July 21-23) will be able to tour the new solar field at Huntsinger Farm, the host farm for next year’s event. The solar field will consist of 288 solar panels made in North America, the same type of modules that are mounted on the roof of the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. The Solar Electric (PV) System operates at 100 kW AC and will generate approximately 144,000 kilowatt hours per year for Huntsinger. The solar field will generate power year-round.
Eric Rygg, president and great grandson of founder Ellis Huntsinger said, “The solar field is an important step in planning for the farm’s future. By harnessing solar energy, we will bring energy costs down dramatically, improve overall efficiency, and move further towards sustainability. We hope that other farmers across Wisconsin will come and see the solar field during Farm Technology Days next year and discover how they can install solar on their own farms, too.”