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These solar panels can average of 150 kilowatts a day in August.

Future of solar energy in agriculture is bright

Three solar energy experts will discuss the use of this renewable energy application in the agriculture industry at the Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum, Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019 from 8 – 9:30 a.m. The event is hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) at the Agricultural Incubator Foundation (AIF).

Lee Andre of Harvest Energy Solutions, will be joined by colleague Ken Zabarah, territory manager for Ohio and Indiana, as well as Daryl Stockburger, assistant director of utilities, City of Bowling Green, as they explain the use of solar energy in the Midwest, grid management, review of northwest Ohio region solar usage, and what the future holds for the industry.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst concluded that solar energy has tremendous benefits in agriculture. For example, on a dairy farm where up to 40% of the energy used is for water heating, a solar water heater can reduce heating costs up to 85% annually.

This forum is part of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership Pollution Prevention (P2) program, which utilizes the entire network of engineering resources, equipment manufacturers and suppliers at its disposal to provide complete and cost effective evaluations in power and lighting, water usage, utilities efficiency assessments, water and air discharge and sustainability.

Arrive early, as breakfast and informal networking will start at 8 a.m., with the program to follow. The cost is just $10 per person when you RSVP in advance, or $12 per person at the door without RSVP (cash or check) which includes breakfast and networking opportunities.

The Northwest Ohio Ag-Business Breakfast Forum is an educational networking opportunity to provide information on current issues, trends and programs available to the agricultural community and those who support its advancement.

The AIF is located at 13737 Middleton Pike (St. Rt. 582) in Bowling Green. Walk-ins are welcome, but guests are encouraged to reserve a seat in advance by visiting ciftinnovation.org.

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