Independence Days: Milbank Helps An American Farmer Claim His Energy Independence

Challenge

Over the last decade, as Andy's farm became more successful, he naturally expanded his operation. As he did, he was surprised to find that a larger operation was going to make profitability more difficult, not less. This was, in large part, due to his reliance on the grid, and increasing energy costs. In an effort to achieve energy independence, control costs and reduce his (now noticeably larger) environmental impact, he sought options for point source energy production.

Solution

With the help of a U.S. renewable energy grant that covered 25% of the operation, Andy successfully set up his first 35kW wind turbine in the spring of 2006. And in November of 2012, Milbank teamed up its dealer in Iowa, Atwood Electric, to help Andy install turbine number two, a 50kW turbine, quadrupling the farm's energy generation to nearly 200,000kW a year.

Results

By saving the money that would have gone to the electric company, Andy's investment is yielding payback and energy independence. He's also wholly embraced the energy–efficient approach. The additional energy output from the second turbine enabled him to convert the farm's heating from gas to electric.

Andy can track in real–time his new turbine's wind speed and current and total production through a wireless monitor set up by Verizon, making him more productive and efficient than ever.