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Green Cows are Happy Cows: California Dairy Installs Big Solar Energy System

Lakeside Dairy in California's central valley has installed a big solar power system that will cut its use of conventional electricity by 75 percent.

Developed, designed and installed by SPG Solar -- one of the biggest commercial solar installers in California -- the 891-kilowatt (kW) solar array comprises 3,240 Suntech solar panels and two big Solaron inverters.

According to GetSolar's online solar power calculator, an 890-kW DC solar power system in the dairy's region should produce around 1.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity in its first year of operation. That's enough juice to power about 100 typical U.S. homes annually.

Like many businesses, Lakeside Dairy installed the system in part to help smooth operating costs.

"The recent volatility of milk prices

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