Generating Energy On the Farm

Generating Energy On the Farm

Generating Energy On the Farm. I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.

The idea of conserving and generating energy has been around for a long time and in the case of farmer Steve Kohntopp, the seeds for his renewable energy project was planted quite early.

KOHNTOPP: My father was a farmer and he was always trying to invent something and looking at better ways to do things. He used to subscribe to Popular Mechanics and Popular Science and they always seemed to have these futuristic methods and ideas for alternative energy including taking methane gas cattle and using that to generate the energy on the farm.

About 3 years ago Kohntopp finally made the decision to install some of these futuristic methods on his property.

KOHNTOPP: I have a 200 sq. ft. metal shop and I have attached 30 Sharp solar panels to it and I have a 100 foot high lattice tower air turbine. It’s a Jacobs 20k and a 5 kilowatt solar panels They call my system a hybrid system because it’s a combination of solar and wind power.

During this year’s Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Boise, Kohntopp will be giving a tour of his property and his system.

KOHNTOPP: If I had charged every passer-by or person that stopped to ask me questions, $5 I’d have this sytem paid for by now. A turbine is not unusual but you can see this 3, 4 miles away. CSI, the College of Southern Idaho just started a wind energy program. They came out, one of their classes one time and I gave them a tour and so CSI had a gentleman that contacted me for this tour.

He doesn’t plan to stop with just the solar panels and the wind turbine either. He is currently looking into photovoltaic shingles as well.

KOHNTOPP: If I change my current system I have out here I’d be increasing the kw so I’d have to go back to Idaho Power and renegotiate the rate I receive and everybody asks me well how much do you generate and that’s really a relative unknown because Mother Nature varies and in my case my decision to generate was motivated primarily due to tax reasons.

For additional information on clean energy or the upcoming Harvesting Clean Energy Conference where you could tour Kohntopp’s operation, visit That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.??? 

Previous ReportNew Horizon's Update
Next ReportWorking Towards a New Farm Bill