Jun 16, 2015

CalCom Solar, Wexus Partner on Agricultural Project

A grant from the California Energy Commission will fund the project

CalCom Solar Wexus Technologies California Energy Commission agriculture

CalCom Solar of Visalia, Calif., and Wexus Technologies of San Francisco have joined forces on new technologies to save energy and water. Wexus was recently awarded a $4 million grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to commercialize a cloud-based, mobile platform for the agricultural industry that will serve to make the industrial and agricultural sectors more efficient. CalCom Solar is partnering with Wexus to deploy their technologies across agricultural sites throughout California.

Due to a combination of a lack of data, high energy costs and limited mobile applications in the field, farmers can spend up to 50% more on energy than necessary during farming operations, particularly when operating irrigation pumps. The CEC grant will enable Wexus and its partners to deploy software that leverages existing utility meter data and helps growers access on-farm electricity and water information from mobile and desktop devices. By leveraging this information and through energy saving recommendations, growers can adjust operations to optimize energy usage and costs.

“Leveraging the Internet of Things and other tech advances, we’re deploying networked devices in the field to gather energy and water use information for agricultural businesses and water districts,” said CalCom Solar CEO Nic Stover. “This helps growers understand the impacts of electricity costs on their water management and agricultural operations. The data is used to devise an energy approach that deploys optimized solar arrays—specifically designed to make energy and water use as efficient as possible.”

“We’re honored to be selected by the California Energy Commission to further develop and commercialize the Wexus platform, and we’re excited to be partnering with CalCom Solar in the ag energy sector,” said Wexus Technologies CEO and co-founder Chris Terrell. “This grant and the CalCom/Wexus collaboration will enable us to further deploy technology that empowers growers to save energy, water and lower operational costs when they need it most: during an unprecedented drought in California.”

"In response to the drought and the governor's executive order, the Energy Commission has invested in water-saving innovative technologies," said California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. "These projects will increase energy efficiency at water-related facilities and enable better management in sectors —such as agriculture—that are typically large water users. We look forward to funding similar projects through our Water Energy Technologies program this summer."