The Isaacs farm in Sussex County, Del., which produces 1 to 1.24 million chickens annually for Perdue Farms, has converted all 13 of its houses to solar energy.

The new system, which has been in place for a month, is already performing better than anticipated, producing more power than the farm is using and providing income in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC), which are being sold to the utilities. "It's like money in the bank," said Robbie Isaacs. Current estimates indicate that, in addition to over $10,500 in electric bill savings, the farm will generate roughly $32,500 annually in SRECs.

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Isaacs said the decision to convert made sense. "With all the grant money out there that's going to go away and all the advancements in solar energy, I just couldn't see waiting any longer." He researched alternative energy developments for more than a decade before getting the go-ahead from his father to install solar in January 2010. The systems were installed and running within six months. "I just looked up at that big blue sky and thought all this sun is producing energy and I can use that," said Isaacs. "Why pay someone else for energy when (sunshine) is free?"