Power Reliability Increases and Electricity Costs Plummet with Innovative Solar Solution by Tick Tock Energy.

Tick Tock Energy, a solar installation contractor headquartered in Effingham, IL, completed the installation of a solar tracking system for Legg Hog Farm in Southeast Illinois.   Concerned about rising electricity costs and power reliability, owner Jim Legg hired Tick Tock Energy to install four dual-axis solar trackers manufactured by Sun Action Trackers, LLC.  Each tracker contains twenty-four bifacial solar panels for a total of ninety-six panels with an overall system capacity of 36 kW.  Legg’s goal was to achieve uninterrupted electricity and reduce his utility bill by 50%.

The innovative two-axis solar tracking system was selected for installation, instead of stationary panels, for their ability to maximize energy production.  The Sun Action Tracker, LLC system follows the sun throughout the day, providing an electricity profile that better matches the needs of the farm.  In addition, Trina TSM-390 bifacial panels were used which can capture reflected energy from the surface underneath the canopy, estimated to boost energy production up to 15%.  Legg reports that the panels are generating electricity higher than expected and indicated Tick Tock Energy, “really did the due diligence to set me up with a good system.”

Legg also opted to install a 67 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery energy storage system by Homegrid and four Sol-Ark hybrid inverters.  When the solar tracker output exceeds farm power demand, excess solar power charges the battery system.  After sunset stored solar energy is then discharged powering the pork facility into the late evening.  The overall system is interconnected with the utility grid and the farm’s backup emergency generator.  During utility grid outage, the farm operates on its own microgrid using solar, stored energy in the battery and or backup generator.

Several incentives including the federal investment tax credit (ITC), Illinois Shines solar renewable energy credit (SREC) incentive, and USDA REAP grant all assisted to offset the cost of the project.  Tick Tock Energy’s Vice President Craig Pals commented “this was a fun project.  We’re glad we helped make a big impact on the farm’s electric bill, lower farm risk by improving power reliability, protect against electricity inflation, and set Legg Farm for another generation of success”.

Legg indicates Tick Tock Energy, “engineered a setup for my hog farm that I am really proud of” and the solar tracker system has surpassed his expectations so far.  The original solar generation estimate for Legg farm was for 70,500 kWh, or about 45% of the farm’s annual use.  The system has exceeded expectations and Jim reports “so far this year the system is offsetting about 70% of the pork producer’s electric use and my bill has dropped by about $1000 per month”.Tick Tock Energy is a leading solar installer in Illinois and the Midwest, providing farm, commercial and residential customers superior high-quality solar panel systems.  The company provides customized solar solutions to “Turn Sunshine Into Cash!SM.  Tick Tock Energy’s mission is to educate, inspire, and motivate individuals and businesses to pursue greater energy independence.  To learn more about the solar installation on the Legg farm, a case study is available here.  A project summary with photos available is here on our Portfolio page.