Leading U.S. Pork Producer Adds Solar to Reduce Energy Costs, Elevate Sustainable Farming

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Leading U.S. Pork Producer Adds Solar to Reduce Energy Costs, Elevate Sustainable Farming

GRIGGSVILLE, Illinois (May 17, 2022) – – Citing a need to diffuse accelerating energy costs and a desire to advance sustainable farming practices, The Maschhoffs broke ground today on a new 3.06-megawatt solar array at its Griggsville Feed Mill. Dignitaries gathered at the 11-acre site of the solar field today to celebrate the significant step into renewable energy by one of the nation’s largest pork producers.

Solential Energy will begin construction of the Griggsville Feed Mill array immediately. The project, which encompasses 6,800 ground-mounted, fixed-tilt solar panels, will be fully installed and generating power by October 2022. The Maschhoffs anticipate first-year energy savings of $320,000 and 25-year accumulated savings of more than $11.3 million.

Chairman Ken Maschhoff said the decision to use solar energy at the mill satisfies business and sustainability goals. “In 2022 alone, we’ve seen our energy costs increase significantly severely impacting our operating costs and threatening our competitiveness as well as the State of Illinois’ $1.1 billion pork producing industry. Adopting renewable solar energy to offset rising energy costs is strategically necessary. The Maschhoffs have always been innovators, and we embrace the opportunity to transform our operation through more sustainable practices, take control of our energy production and costs, and do our part in reducing the carbon footprint of our operations.

He added, “I would like to recognize the State of Illinois Shines Program for making funds for renewable energy projects available to job-creating businesses like The Maschhoffs.”

The Griggsville Feed Mill is the main feed facility for The Maschhoffs, which processes 300,000 tons of feed that accounts for roughly 25 percent of the 1.4 million market hogs and feeder pigs the company raises each year. It is one of the company’s most energy intensive operations, said Vice President of Support Operations Gerry Daignault.

“Our grain operations are critical to animal care, overall health and pork production. Energy availability and resilience are critical. Any interruption in power or loss of heat can alter the chemistry of our feed, which in turn impacts the growth of our animals and profitability of the business. Adding solar to our energy equation allows us to continue to optimize our grain processing and get the best feed to our animals without the stress of higher energy costs.”

Jeff Haarmann, managing partner of Affordable Gas and Electric (AGE) and energy management consultant to The Maschhoffs, commented “The Maschhoffs asked us to solve the energy cost issue that was making the Griggsville Feed Mill noncompetitive. After researching multiple solutions for on-site generation, we ultimately recommended solar as the most economically beneficial option due to the incredible state and federal incentives available. Aside from the economic benefits, solar furthers the family’s sustainable energy goals. The Maschhoffs are an industry leader deploying the most technologically advanced and energy efficient management solutions in the market.” 

The Maschhoffs selected Indiana-based Solential Energy to design, build, and commission the solar project. Solential has more than a decade of experience in commercial solar projects, microgrids and solar storage. Solential President Jim Shaw expects more farmers to turn to solar energy to ensure economic and social sustainability of their farms. “In the past, there was skepticism. As solar has become mainstream and upfront financing through government programs and private investors has become more available, adoption continues to grow. Hopefully, the Griggsville Feed Mill is just one of many solar projects for The Maschhoffs.”

About The Maschhoffs® – Progressive Farming. Family Style.
The Maschhoffs, LLC, is a hog production company headquartered in Carlyle, Illinois. The company has over 100 years of hog production experience and is one of the largest family-owned hog producer networks in North America, with 170,000 sows and market hog production sites in seven states. The company has approximately 1,000 employees who, along with nearly 500 independent farms, focus on creating environmentally and economically sustainable hog production systems. Each year, the company raises enough hogs to provide pork to more than 15 million consumer households.  Learn more.

About Solential Energy
Founded in 2009, Solential Energy is a comprehensive energy strategy firm that provides customizable solutions, leveraging insights gained from detailed energy audits and energy use analytics. Our suite of capabilities includes solar energy, battery storage, co-generation, microgrids, floatovoltaics, and comprehensive building infrastructure improvements. Solential is focused on serving the agriculture, correctional facilities, local governments, education, manufacturing, and water and wastewater processing industries. The company’s consultative approach to energy efficiency, affordability, and sustainability leads to collaborative partnerships with positive long-term impact. Learn more.

About Affordable Gas and Electric (AGE)
AGE is an energy management and solutions company, managing over 950 gigawatts of power and 300,000 therms of natural gas across nearly 70,000 residential households and thousands of small commercial and industrial customers as part of large commercial buying groups and government community aggregation programs. AGE’s focus is on economic benefits first and foremost, while maintaining a focus on sustainable energy solutions. Learn more.