By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, October 31, the Alabama Power Company launched a new website to help Alabama’s farmers learn about their energy options.
Alabama Power is also promoting switching to electric powered irrigation systems from the old diesel engine powered systems, which most farms that irrigate have used for decades.
Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R) praised Alabama Power for the move. Pres. Cavanaugh said, “Agriculture is Alabama’s largest industry and farmers constantly ask me what energy options they have to help them grow and become more cost efficient.”
Cavanaugh continued, “I appreciate the farming community’s participation in educating me on their needs and I also appreciate Alabama Power Company for listening to the suggestions and creating this resource.”
PSC President Cavanaugh said, “When I came to the Public Service Commission, I promised I would do everything possible to use the Commission to promote job creation in Alabama. This is just another outstanding example of what can be accomplished when our regulated utilities work with the Commission to meet the needs of real Alabamians.”
Cavanaugh said, “The annual economic impact to our State is a whopping $70 billion and my priority is for the impact of agriculture in Alabama to continue to increase.”
The largest agriculture sector in the State is the poultry business. Chickens are grown in poultry houses across Alabama. While we don’t think of chicken farming as an industry that is affected by the drought, temperatures across Alabama have been in the high 80s through October and now into the first part of November. While 88 degree temperatures are common throughout Alabama and those large poultry houses are built to cool chickens as necessary, it is not common for it be so hot so late in the year. Those large fans in the chicken houses are running much more than they normally do this time of the year and that means more power costs for the farmers and more wear and tear on the fans and cool cells, thus higher maintenance costs.
PSC President Cavanaugh is seeking a second term on the PSC as its President and will be on the November 8th General Election ballot.
Alabama Power is offering a $10 per horsepower incentive to supports motor conversion for irrigation systems. The company also says that it offers electricity pricing tailored to meet the needs and unique operations of our state’s farmers. To learn more about electric rate options for farming or to receive an analysis of your specific operation, including an energy-savings estimate, call Alabama Power to connect with your local representative at 1-888-430-5787.