Sunshine can be hard to come by during the winter months, which limits our solar energy opportunities.
However, ranchers have found solar solutions to be timed just right.
In tonight’s Eye on Agriculture, Jennifer Kleen continues our look at careers in energy and how they’re making life a little easier in the field.
(Jennifer Kleen, KX News) Cattle spend their days catching the sun’s rays as long as the weather allows. Getting water to those wide open spaces can be a challenge, but there’s a cost and energy efficient solution.
(Tom Jespersen, Energy Services & Rural Development Manager, Verendyre Electric Cooperative) “Solar power in North Dakota works great in the summertime when the cattle are out in these pastures.”
(Kleen) While sunshine can be slim in the winter months.
(Jespersen) “We get as much sun as they do in Arizona and California during the summer months.”
(Kleen) Verendrye Electric Cooperative leases solar panels to ranchers to power water pumps for cattle during the summer grazing season.
(Jespersen) “It’s in a remote location where we don’t have power line here so we looked at serving it using solar panels to pump water for cattle.”
(Kleen) To add a distribution line could add up to 40-thousand or more a mile.
(Jespersen) “There’s costs associated with this here, but anytime we’re more than a quarter mile away from existing line, we’re gonig to look at using a solar system to look at providing a power option in these situations.”
(Kleen) Tom Jespersen’s career in energy may be an unusual one,
(Jespersen) “Off the beaten path.”
(Kleen) …but his Rural Development solar solutions meet Verendrye’s efforts in energy conservation and keep Jespersen busy in the field.
(Jespersen) “We’ve installed over 250 solar systems like this site throughout our service area and beyond.”
(Kleen) So cows aren’t the only ones catching the summer sun. For Eye on Agriculture in Minot, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.
We’re highlighting the solar systems as a part of Careers in Energy week, right in the middle of cooperative month.
Studies show many will be retiring from utility companies over the next ten years.