SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Following is a statement from Patrick A. Weller, chairman and CEO of Sol Power Energy, Inc., to foster a path to agricultural solvency for the California family-owned and operated farm:
Sol Power Energy, Inc. today announced Phase II of a multijurisdictional solar distributed generation program for Vino Farms, LLC as part of an ongoing plan for VINO FARMS to use holistic, ecological, and ethical practices in wine grape farming.
Over the past three years, VINO FARMS VP and partner Craig Ledbetter has been converting select vineyards to Biodynamic™ (BD) farming practices, while simultaneously implementing solar photovoltaic systems for irrigation pumping, as a water use efficiency measure.
Air, fire, water, and at times even the abundance of Mother Earth’s energy seem to oppose California agricultural operators. The Clean Air Act, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), PG&E’s 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP), and most recently PG&E's 2023 General Rate Case (GRC) all contain compliance requirements that can drastically affect the ability of a California family-owned and operated farm to meet its long-term debts and other financial obligations.
Over the past two years, during Phase I, the parties utilized world-class COVID-19 control and prevention practices to successfully develop nearly 1 megawatt of flood-resistant, elevated solar generation plants supplying enough electricity to meet the needs of 164 U.S. homes.
SOL POWER has been retained to provide a broad range of professional services and duties related to the strategic planning, design, development, delivery, and interconnection of renewable energy projects. The solar generation systems were implemented in the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) service territories within Sacramento and San Joaquin counties.
VINO FARMS, with offices located in Lodi, Healdsburg, Napa, and Paso Robles, is a multi-generational farming operation owned and operated by the Ledbetter family since the 1970s. The company manages or owns nearly 17,000 total acres of vineyards in California including 4,500 acres in the Lodi region.
Craig Ledbetter, VINO FARMS VP and partner stated, “The implementation of solar projects on farmland exposes owners to a range of risks from numerous authorities having jurisdiction. Patrick A. Weller, chairman and CEO of Sol Power Energy, Inc. exhibited the highest standard of care, trustworthiness, risk mitigation, and fiduciary responsibility for our multimillion-dollar project.”
Sol Power Energy, Inc. is a minority-owned California corporation with operations in Sacramento, California. With nearly 30 years of experience in the U.S. energy services company industry, SOL POWER offers free technical assistance to farmers to help them to understand the economics and technical advantages of renewable energy programs to offset their escalating utility expense.
“PG&E intends an initial increase in average electric rates for its agricultural, commercial, and industrial customers between 7 and 25 percent starting in 2023, with a corresponding increase in average gas rates of up to approximately 4 percent. Our objective is to help agricultural producers of wine grapes, livestock, milk production, and crops to obtain renewable energy solutions that foster energy cost savings and sustainable water and food supply,” stated Patrick A. Weller, chairman and CEO of Sol Power Energy, Inc.
Sol Power Energy, Inc. is in the development of MetaDigital™ marketing services for the development of scheduled and on-demand virtual learning environments to share SOL POWER Renewable Best Practices for Agricultural Operators, to include the future integration of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) components.