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Scott Soares

Scott J. Soares

Commissioner, Department of Agricultural Resources

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Full sun and a strong breeze made for the perfect spring morning for Indian Line Farm - a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Egremont - to display, celebrate and give thanks to all who helped with its new grid-tied 6.5 kW photovoltaic system. I was lucky to join Elizabeth Keen and Al Thorp, owners of Indian Line Farm, as they spent a morning away from farming to celebrate their new system with other local farmers, CSA members, and various key participants in all the federal, state, and private support efforts that made this project possible. Their celebration was not only about how the new photovoltaic system works, but also to demonstrate the effectiveness of teamwork and collaboration when various people, agencies, and organizations come together to make such a project happen.

DAR was fortunate to be part of this collaboration, awarding $10,000 to the total cost of the project under our Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP), a program with a purpose to help mitigate or prevent negative impacts to natural resources resulting from agricultural practices. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and USDA also provided funding support. Indian Line Farm, which installed its photovoltaic system on the roof of the Thorp’s existing barn, now produces emission-free electricity, displacing electric energy from central, greenhouse-gas emitting power plants. This barn now provides a dual purpose: a central farming produce center and the structure for a renewable energy source that will completely meet the energy needs for the farm, while also allowing for future growth.

Indian Line Farm

Indian Line Farm grows of a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and cutting flowers that are primarily sold to its 100-plus CSA members, making the farm a perfect place to highlight the successful outcomes that can occur when various organizations work together for a sustainable future.

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As Deputy Director of DOER's Green Communities Division, Lisa helps lead a team devoted to working with Massachusetts cities and towns to realize environmental and cost benefits of municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining DOER, Lisa worked in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2007 to 2012, first as Press Secretary and then as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous communications and public relations experience includes both government and the private sector, where, as principal of upWrite Communications, she served clients such as The Trustees of Reservations, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners Health Care/North Shore Medical Center. She began her career as a journalist, covering Beacon Hill for the State House News Service, and later wrote for a variety of other publications including The Boston Globe, Teacher Magazine, Animals Magazine, and The Gulf of Maine Times. The author of two books, Lisa serves on the board of the Saugus River Watershed Council and resides with her family in Melrose.

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