08/13/2012 09:35 EDT | Updated 10/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Good Year For Farmers Making Solar Power

While last week's rain arrived too late for many farmers across Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, it's been a good year for farmers who bought into solar energy.

Renfrew County farmer Michael Donohue expects about half of his usual corn crop this year.

But beyond the field of parched and stunted corn stand nine towers of solar panels, capable of producing about 45 to 50 kilowatts.

Each kilowatt hour sells back to the grid for 80 cents.

Donohue estimates his investment of $400,000 will be paid off in about seven or eight years.

"When I installed that, it probably never crossed my mind that it was any sort of risk-management tool. But certainly I have commented this summer that if it's not going to rain, at least the sun is shining and it's making electricity," Donohue said.

While Ontario Power Authority has since reduced their terms on offer, Donohue said he's not worried about his prices.

"I have a 20-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority. So my own feeling on that is there'll be a lot of pitchforks at Queen's Park if the Ontario Power Authority wants to renege on a contract."

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