Paired Power, Monarch Tractor bring off-grid solar charging to California vineyard

Paired Power Monarch Tractor EV solar charging

Paired Power has partnered with Monarch Tractor to deliver solar electric charging for the all-electric MK-V tractor at Kaerskov Vineyard and Carr Winery in California. 

Paired Power is a leading provider of solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging products, while Monarch Tractor is the manufacturer of the MK-V, a fully electric, zero-emissions, driver-optional, connected tractor. The companies are powering Kaerskov Vineyard with 100% clean, off-grid energy for its farming operations. 

Since July, Monarch’s electric, driver-optional tractor at Kaerskov Vineyard (managed by Carr Winery) has been running successfully using Paired Power solar energy EV chargers, enabling the Santa Ynez Valley-based vineyard to significantly reduce its utility cost and its reliance on the fossil fuels that often power the grid. 

The coupling of Paired Power solar chargers with Monarch’s MKV tractor is a revolutionary green solution that makes operational expenses considerably less expensive for day-to-day farming practices, while reducing annual emissions by lowering reliance on traditional diesel vehicles.

Farmers who have integrated an MK-V tractor into their daily operations get the benefit of advanced collision prevention, human detection and power take-off protection while reducing more than 60% of the farm’s expense on fuel and service. In addition to charging Monarch’s tractor, Paired Power’s charging stations will also charge a swappable battery cart during the day, providing the tractor with a full recharge for night-time operation. 

“Our mission at Monarch is to elevate overall operations, improve farmer profitability, and pave the way for sustainable farming,” said Praveen Penmetsa, cofounder and CEO of Monarch Tractor. “Pairing the all-electric MK-V with renewable charging infrastructure like Paired Power’s solar solutions brings us closer to a farming future that is powered by clean energy solutions. We are pleased to partner with Paired Power and Carr Winery in taking this step toward more environmentally friendly farming practices.”

This is the first project to use an off-grid, solar-powered DCFC (Direct Current Fast Charger) to charge a swappable Monarch MK-V tractor battery for fleet operations, marking a significant step in promoting sustainable farming practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sector.

“Carr Winery and Kaerskov Vineyard are committed to sustainable farming practices, and we are eager to utilize electric tractors powered by renewable energy on our properties to reduce emissions and avoid impact to the grid,” said winemaker Ryan Carr, the operational partner of Kaerskov Vineyard. “By partnering with Paired Power and Monarch Tractor, we are taking significant steps towards reducing our environmental impact.”

Across the agricultural industry, the availability of electrical charging infrastructure on properties has been widely touted as one of the most promising ways to reduce the agricultural industry’s 20% contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. However, the shift faces challenges because many agricultural sites are located at the end of grid distribution lines, which can create an unstable supply of electricity to charge electric machinery. Upgrading power lines to stabilize the supply coming from the grid can be costly and result in years of delays due to lengthy permit and utility approvals, as well as supply chain limitations. But, commercial and industrial solar power has become more accessible thanks to a significant reduction in costs and various government and utility incentives for which Paired Power’s charging products are eligible. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Monarch Tractor and Carr Winery to provide a path forward for sustainable farming practices,” said Tom McCalmont, cofounder and CEO of Paired Power. “Our high-powered solar charger was designed with fleet applications in mind, as we know that providing a convenient means to charge electric tractors will be essential in the adoption of electrified farming. Our charging solutions are scalable to ensure that we can continue to provide easy renewable charging as electric fleets expand.”

The installation of Paired Power’s chargers at Kaerskov Vineyard was made possible by Santa Barbara County’s Air Pollution Control District’s Clean Air Grant and CalCom Energy – a leading installer of solar energy solutions.

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