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 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.
Dam Ice posted on Mar 12
You may have noticed many “falling ice” signs around town. Personally, I recently counted five of them on my way to the coffee shop. The icicles and falling ice are actually caused by ice dams, and the Building Science Corporation (BSC) and Massachusetts Department of …Continue Reading Dam Ice
Fish Need Clean Energy, Too posted on Feb 18
Running a fish farm is an intense operation, one that requires a lot of labor and a large amount of energy. Currently, the McLaughlin Hatchery uses a significant amount of oil to heat its facility. The facility is going to replace its oil furnace with a renewable energy heating system, a new high efficiency wood pellet boiler and pellet storage silo that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 92 percent, save an estimated $11,432 annually, and reduce annual oil use by more than 5,000 gallons.
Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs posted on Feb 12
Did you know that it is possible to heat buildings in the northeast using wood biomass, a renewable energy fuel? With nearly one-third of total energy costs going toward heating our buildings, it is no wonder that Massachusetts school districts are searching for cheaper and …Continue Reading Wood Pellets are the New Oil for Regional Schools Reducing Fuel Costs