Agricultural energy efficiency, demand response and other distributed energy resources pose unique challenges—and opportunities. That’s always been the case, but it’s never been truer than today, as innovation takes hold across the agriculture sector.
Traditional farms are major consumers of resources. According to the USDA, farm businesses account for 90 percent of fuel and electricity consumption in the agriculture sector. Whether through direct energy consumption in the form of gasoline, diesel, electricity and natural gas or indirect consumption from energy-intensive fertilizers and pesticides, farms are ripe for innovative grid optimization strategies. Add to that the recent rise in indoor agriculture, wineries and breweries, and it’s clear that the time for pioneering agricultural programs is now.
Franklin Energy has completed thousands of agricultural projects since 2000. We were the first implementer to deliver on-site, same-day assessment reports to farmers when a leading agricultural University chose us to field test their dairy auditing tool. Over the years, we've developed strong relationships with agribusiness leaders throughout the country and have extensive experience in the dairy, swine, livestock, poultry, equine, fruit, vegetable, grain, greenhouse and aquaculture sub-markets.
The agriculture market is uniquely poised to embrace grid optimization. Some farms already produce renewable energy themselves. Others lease out land for wind turbine, solar, geothermal, oil or gas development. And a small but growing number of farmers are growing biomass fuels.
By finding synergies and carefully considering season-specific energy and cost needs, Franklin Energy designs grid optimization programs that work in every situation. These integrated programs help agricultural customers save the most energy and water possible. At the same time, we strategically reduce peak demand to keep resources flowing across the board.
We work with our clients and their customers to identify heavy-hitting operational improvements. Then we make them easy to implement, with funding mechanisms and generation opportunities tied to the seasonal nature of the business and the customer’s available budget. We've also developed custom training programs and educated agribusiness organizations and trade allies to increase participation rates. Franklin Energy has a track record of successfully generating savings on a larger scale than is typically seen in the agricultural sector.
On most farms, poor pumping plant efficiency means that irrigation and pumping are the biggest electricity hogs. Franklin Energy tackles that head-on with programs that combine irrigation system efficiency with comprehensive water and irrigation education programs.
Our goal is to promote scientific irrigation management practices. Automatic control systems and time-of-use-rate schedules meet off-peak pumping, demand response and self-generation incentives. The combination nets major savings and load control benefits.