Eichtens Cheese & Bison
|Business Name:||Eichtens Cheese & Bison|
|Address:||16440 Lake Blvd, Center City, MN 55012|
|Size:||5.04 MW (Home installation and Community Solar Garden)|
|Installer:||Innovative Power Systems|
|Date of Install:||October 2012 (40 kW), October 2016 (5 MW)|
Who we are
Eichtens Cheese and Bison is home to Mary’s Tilsit, Gouda cheese and many artisan cheese favorites along with American bison meat. We are three generations and 40 years strong.
Why we went solar
The process of going solar started in 2012 when we learned about the incentives that were available. We were very intrigued by the idea of generating our own clean renewable power and when we learned how much more affordable it would be with the incentives we figured, why not take advantage?
A couple years after we installed the first system we were approached by our installer, Innovative Power Systems (IPS), about the idea of partnering with them to install a community solar garden on our property. We are passionate supporters of solar energy and would like for as many people to take advantage of solar as possible, but understand that not everyone has the ability to install solar themselves. Since we had the additional space we leased 22 acres of our land to IPS in order to install a 5 MW community solar garden.
Benefits of going solar
The first system we installed offset one third of our energy usage and paid for itself in only four years. We’ve been able to save money on our electric bill and are thrilled to be producing our own clean energy.
Partnering with IPS to build the solar garden has also benefited us. Leasing the land to them provided us with good clean energy and a steady income, but perhaps more importantly it was also a way to benefit our greater community. The main investors in the project, which generates enough energy to power 1000 homes, were our local school district and senior center. They are now able to take advantage of this resource as well.