Carr Winery sources hand-harvested organic grapes from Santa Barbara County vineyards. Since July, the company’s Kaerskov Vineyard has been using an electric “driver-optional” tractor that’s driven by 100 percent off-grid solar energy.
At the vineyard, Monarch Tractor’s MK-V electric tractor is charged by Paired Power solar chargers, enabling the vineyard to significantly reduce its utility cost and its reliance on fossil fuels.
In addition to charging the tractor directly, Paired Power’s solar-powered DC fast charging stations also charge a swappable battery cart during the day, providing the tractor with a full recharge for night-time operation.
According to Monarch, the MK-V tractor offers farmers the benefits of advanced collision prevention, human detection and power take-off protection, along with savings of over 60 percent on fuel and service.
The agricultural industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. One challenge to electrifying agricultural equipment is the fact that many agricultural sites are located at the end of grid distribution lines, which means that the supply of electricity may be unstable. Upgrading power lines to stabilize the supply coming from the grid can be costly and result in years of delays.
The installation of Paired Power’s chargers at Kaerskov Vineyard was made possible by a grant from Santa Barbara County’s Air Pollution Control District’s Clean Air Grant, along with support from CalCom Energy.
“Our mission at Monarch is to elevate overall operations, improve farmer profitability, and pave the way for sustainable farming,” said Praveen Penmetsa, co-founder and CEO of Monarch Tractor. “Pairing the electric MK-V with renewable charging infrastructure like Paired Power’s solar solutions brings us closer to a farming future that is powered by clean energy solutions.”
“Our high-powered solar charger was designed with fleet applications in mind, as we know that providing a convenient means to charge electric tractors will be essential in the adoption of electrified farming,” said Tom McCalmont, co-founder and CEO of Paired Power. “Our charging solutions are scalable to ensure that we can continue to provide easy renewable charging as electric fleets expand.”