In Barnstable, the Cape Cod Organic Farm recently flipped the switch on a new homegrown product: solar energy. This organic farm is now home to a 9.84 kW solar array that will power the electricity needs of the entire farm with clean, renewable electricity. The Cape Cod Organic Farm is a diverse vegetable and small poultry operation that is both a CSA (consumer supported agriculture) and a farm stand. Tim Friary manages the 12.5 acre business and has been farming in Massachusetts for over 15 years. When we last visited the site, Tim told us that he was happy with the solar installation and was already enjoying watching the numbers on the meter rise as the solar energy they collected turned into electricity.
In order to utilize the land as efficiently and sustainably as possible, a longstanding mantra for farmers in New England, the farm worked closely with Cotuit Solar of Cotuit, the design-build installing contractor, to locate the PV structure off of the usable soils. The final project design includes a dual-use structure that supports the PV panels and also provides cover to tractors and other farm equipment. The photos below show the front and back of the solar panels:
The project was completed with technical assistance from the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) and financial assistance from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Agricultural Energy Grant Program.
If you live on the Cape or visit during the summer, make sure you stop by the Cape Cod Organic Farm to check out their fresh produce and their new solar installation. Make sure you tell Tim we sent you!
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