Hog producer The Maschhoffs revealed plans for a project this month to install 6,800 solar panels at its feed mill in Griggsville, IL, saving the company an estimated $11.3 million over a 25-year period.
“In 2022 alone, we’ve seen our energy costs increase significantly severely impacting our operating costs and threatening our competitiveness as well as the State of Illinois’ $1.1 billion pork producing industry,” Ken Maschhoff, chairman of the firm, said in a release. “The Maschhoffs have always been innovators, and we embrace the opportunity to transform our operation through more sustainable practices, take control of our energy production and costs, and do our part in reducing the carbon footprint of our operations.”
Processing 300,000 tn/yr of feed, the Griggsville site is the company’s primary feed production facility. About a quarter of the 3.4 million market hogs and feeder pigs raised by The Maschhoffs each year are raised with feed made at the Illinois location.
“The agriculture industry is turning to solar in greater numbers than ever before, some as a new revenue stream and others, like The Maschhoffs, to power their operations,” said Jeff Haarrmann, managing partner of Affordable Gas and Electric (AGE) and energy management consultant to The Maschhoffs, in a statement. “The infrastructure is increasingly reliable, and in the current environment of skyrocketing energy costs, why not include solar? It will be exciting to see the Griggsville Feed Mill solar project come online and have a positive impact on energy costs.”
Solar energy solutions developer Solential Energy has started work to install the ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar panels at the location. The systems are expected to become fully operational by October.