Learning all about LED lighting in turkey barns
The West Central Clean Energy Resource Team (WC CERT) and The Minnesota Project presented an educational program on how to pursue funding to support an LED lighting retrofit project on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Life Center Auditorium of MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.
Overview: Attendees learned about LED lighting for turkey barns, heard candid farmer feedback on this type of retrofit, and learned about utility and federal funding options to help finance LED lighting retrofits in turkey barns. We owe a special thanks to our guest speakers from Kandiyohi Power Cooperative, USDA Rural Development, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation District.
Who attended? Out of the 60 folks who attended the event, a third were poultry farmers and the remainder included utility representatives, lighting specialists, electricians and other energy service providers. This event was free and open to the public and attendees enjoyed hot pulled turkey sandwiches!
Making the case for LED lighting: After an overview of what CERTs is and brief introductions around the room, we jumped right into talking about LED lighting specifically for Poultry Applications. Alexis Troschinetz with CERTs and Fritz Ebinger with The Minnesota Project, a partner of CERTs, presented on the results and findings from a recently concluded Conservation Applied Research and Development grant project supported by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. “Switching from high pressure sodium or incandescent lighting to LED lighting offers the greatest energy and cost savings,” says Alexis Troschinetz with CERTs. Click here to download their presentation >>
Learning from other farmers: Attendees watched a segment of the Farm Connections’ Episode 602 that was filmed in May 2013 featuring the Zimmerman Farms and their LED lighting retrofit project. Click below to watch the segment. After watching the video, turkey farmers and other attendees engaged in a discussion with two farmers that participated in the CARD grant project. Mike Langmo of Lakewood Turkey in Eden Valley, MN and Pete Swenson of Goran Brothers Turkey in Blomkest, MN provided overviews of the barns that they retrofitted with LED lighting.
Looking at lighting: A couple of lighting companies displayed sample LED lighting products at the event. There was time during the break of the event for folks to “kick the tires” and check out these products that would be a good fit for poultry lighting applications.
CERTs LED lighting campaign: After the break, Alexis with CERTs presented on how we are providing assistance to the turkey farming community through the Gobbling Up Savings – LED Lighting in Turkey Barns CERTified Campaign. In short, CERTs is helping farmers work their way through three funding options (electric utility rebates, USDA REAP grants and loans, USDA NRCS EQIP audit funding and project financial assistance) to make LED lighting retrofits possible in their barns. Click here to learn more about Gobbling Up Savings >>
Exploring funding options:
- spoke next about the process and advantages of working with the electric utility to get financial assistance on an LED lighting retrofit.
- talked in great detail about eligibility for the REAP program, the application requirements, and the scoring process for awarding funds. Download presentation >>
- spoke about how farmers can get the costs of an energy audit of their farms covered in order to identify the types of energy efficiency projects they should focus on. Farmers can also receive financial assistance for LED lighting in particular through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which Shannon presented on as well. Download presentation >>
Photos from the event:
- CERTs Campaign – Gobbling Up Savings page
- CERTs Campaign – Gobbling Up Savings handout
- Alexis Troschinetz & Fritz Ebinger, CERTs – presentation
- Paul Pierson, USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – presentation
- Shannon Ernst, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) – presentation
- USDA REAP Program Webinar – blog post
- Looking for savings in the turkey barn – story by Carolyn Lange, West Central Tribune on March 24, 2014
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