ENVIRONMENT | November 9, 2023

Egg Farm Invests in Solar Farming

Green Acres Colony, located just outside Bassano, Alberta, has embraced the challenge to minimize their environmental impacts and become more sustainable.  Their investments will significantly benefit many farms around them, in addition to the 10,000 acres their colony farms.  Green Acres is a shining example of how pursuing one circular economy opportunity can generate additional revenue, while leading to another opportunity to embrace renewable energy.

Green Acres Colony has operated Crowfoot Plastics since 2010, which is a specialty plastics recycling company with a focus on recycling giant grain bags.  They have been recycling over 5 million pounds of plastic every year!  Their process turns the plastic into pellets that are sold to make products like recycled garbage bags – a single grain bag makes about 10,000 garbage bags.  The only downside of this innovative venture was that the recycling plant required nearly three times the amount of electricity that the entire colony was typically using each year.

To help offset the cost of running Crowfoot Plastics, Green Acres decided to invest $4.8 million in a solar farm that was the largest of its kind in Alberta when it opened in 2015.  The 2 megawatt (MWp) solar farm includes 7,686 solar panels that are directly tied into the local power grid.  When the solar farm was installed, before Albertans saw energy prices start to sharply rise, the payback period was estimated to be about 10-15 years. In recent years, the solar farm has not only generated enough electricity to fully offset what was used by Green Acres Colony, including Crowfoot Plastics, but the colony was able to generate revenue by selling excess electricity into the grid.

Green Acres Colony is an Alberta egg farm that is demonstrating leadership, innovation, and the industry’s commitment to sustainable production.

Media Coverage of Green Acres Colony

Green Energy Futures (November 16, 2015): 124. Green Acres, the largest solar farm in Western Canada – Green Energy Futures

Hutterian Brethren (May 30, 2012): “Who Will Help Recycle this Bag?” – HutteritesHutterites