As utility bills skyrocketed for Sitruc Farms LLC, owner Steve Rathe began seeking out affordable alternative power sources. Collaborating with local energy consultant CurrentRE, local Cat® dealer Ziegler Power Systems stepped in and introduced Cat solar panels to assist with the Sitruc Farms project.
With Ziegler supplying the equipment and CurrentRE managing installation, the two installed over 800 photovoltaic (PV) panels capable of producing 131.3 MWh per year. Arranging an agreement with local utility company Alliant Energy, Sitruc Farms was able to net meter its utilities, lowering overall costs. In addition, by drawing power from the local grid, the site’s electric meter is able to uniquely power itself throughout the day and night, as well as during severe weather.
Rathe expects more than $1,300 in monthly utility cost savings after adding the solar panels, which also have a performance guarantee for 25 years. “The Caterpillar umbrella has a good impact as far as reliability and standing behind the product,” Rathe said. “If there are any concerns with the product, they will be there to take care of it for the long haul.”