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.
Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education posted on Apr 22
Congratulations to Boston Latin School, recipient of a 2014 U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. The Green Ribbon Schools program, launched by USED in 2011, honors the highest performing schools for sustainability, health and environmental education in the U.S. This year, …Continue Reading Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education
Toward Zero Net Energy posted on Apr 10
In late February I had the opportunity to attend the Toward Zero Net Energy (TZNE) Retrofit Program “Charrette” ‒ a collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem ‒ at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The purpose of this charrette …Continue Reading Toward Zero Net Energy
Leadership Matters – Images from 7th Green Schools Summit posted on Apr 7
At the 7th Annual Massachusetts Green Schools Summit, students, teachers, legislators and energy officials came together to embrace leadership roles within their communities. DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia emphasized that clean energy and climate literacy among the current generation of students will be crucial for Massachusetts in the future. “Set the tone, lead the way in the classroom, at home, in the community and for our future.”