Solar PV modules on the roof of a building at the USDA ARS Research Farm in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Yemoto, USDA
Location Fort Collins, Colorado
System Type Photovoltaic (PV)
System Size 37 kW
Installation Cost ~$125,000
Project Completion 2021
Project Savings ~51 MWh/year, ~$150,000 over the project life
Load Service Area USDA ARS Research Farm
Project Champions Sandy Morgan and William Prange
FEMP Assistance Feasibility study, design development, design review, request for proposal development, and contract award

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Farm in Fort Collins, Colorado, conducts research and development on sugarbeet germplasm to support industry and university breeding efforts. The farm's 37-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system will provide 100% of the site's electricity, making it the third USDA ARS site to achieve "net-zero electricity." The inverter equipment installed will allow for a future installation of a battery energy storage system (BESS), which could reduce energy demand costs and potentially provide backup power in the event of grid outages. The system's contractor used PV modules that were Buy American Act compliant and tested for quality and safety by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.