Footage from the project under construction in Pecatonia, IL with some helping hands.

Our First Solar Project Outside of Minnesota

In 2000, IPS was contacted about installing our first system outside of Minnesota on a farm in Pecatonica, Illinois. There wasn’t a strong market for solar anywhere at the time, but IPS had something that most installers didn’t in that era - a website!

Ralph Jacobson and the farmer connected over the web, then planned the trek to Illinois to install three pole mounted solar arrays next to the landing strip. That’s right – this farmer was also a pilot, flying jumbo-jets to Europe and back for his day job! Ralph and the crew packed their bags to stay on-site during the entire install process and ate nothing but farm fresh meals for a week - except for a few bowls of cocoa puffs for breakfast.

“It was totally different from anything else we’ve worked on before, and definitely a unique experience laying in power cables behind a Ditch-Witch trencher being driven by a jumbo-jet pilot,” Ralph recalls. The farmer and the crew worked together, making use of farming equipment to get the job done right, while finishing it faster than expected.

We don’t have sleepovers with our clients anymore, but we still sleep in the rafters for them when we need to!