Dyersville company unveils solar energy system, teases upcoming expansion

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — A Dyersville-based company has unveiled a new solar energy system and teased that the project opens the door for future expansion.

FarmTek, a division of Engineering Services & Products Co., held an event Wednesday to share information on the new system with nearly 100 employees and Dyersville officials.

Iowa Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg also came to speak at the event, emphasizing the state’s leadership in various renewable energy forms such as wind, ethanol and biofuel.

“In the past few years, we’ve seen an expansion in renewable energy, including new solar projects like this one,” Gregg told the crowd. “On nearly every front, we’re leading the way in renewable energy, and this is the latest example of that.”

Over 1,000 solar modules were installed this year on the roof of the company’s beam manufacturing building, which is where the unveiling took place. The building itself is also fairly new to FarmTek, having been completed in 2019.

“This is the first part of many new initiatives that we’ll be announcing in the next couple of months,” said Dave Buchheit, the company’s vice president of operations.

Speaking with the Telegraph Herald, Buchheit said more information on upcoming expansion projects would be shared at a later time.

“We’re looking at future expansion of our manufacturing and more focus on our greenhouses,” he said.

For the solar energy project, Buchheit said the company worked with Dubuque-based Eagle Point Solar.

He noted that the company has been prioritizing saving on energy and costs for years. When FarmTek moved to Dyersville in 1997, he said the first building on the site used geo-thermal heating.

“We put over $600,000 in this (recent project), so that shows that it’s a priority for us,” Buchheit said of the project’s energy savings.

Larry Steffen, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Eagle Point Solar, said that the new solar modules, which have a 30-year production warranty, will produce over 572,000 kilowatts of electricity in their first year.

That figure equals the same amount of energy it would take to power 60 homes and over one billion cell phones, he said.

The solar energy system will also save FarmTek more than $66,000 in electricity costs over the first year they are in use, with an estimated $2.5 million saved in energy costs over a 25-year span.

Speaking to the Telegraph Herald after the event, Gregg noted that projects like the one at FarmTek solar are important for keeping Iowa at the forefront of renewable energy.

He also noted that investing in similar projects helps companies with further economic development.

“We need our business partners to invest (in renewable energy),” Gregg said. “…Dyersville shined at the Field of Dreams in the national spotlight. This is another way we can shine.”