Shale To Solar: Farmers Use Gas Money to Build Solar Arrays
Dwayne Bauknight and Duane Miller share a first name. They live 1.9 miles apart on the same road and have almost nothing in common — except for a row of gleaming new solar panels on their farms.
Dwayne Bauknight drives onto his Washington County property in a golf cart. He pulls a U-turn to park between two rows of 15-foot tall solar panels and shows how they work.
“When it’s producing it’ll go through all those inverters, all those yellow things and then come out of that straight meter right there. And that shows you how much that’s doing on a daily basis,” he said.
Bauknight and his family signed a gas lease with Range Resources in October and used the money to install a 38.4 kilowatt solar array on their farm, Shared Acres. Though Bauknight won’t recoup the cost of his investment in energy bills for eight to 12 years, according to his calculations, he’s already beginning to produce enough energy to power his house.