Director of Agricultural Technical Assistance, Department of Agricultural Resources
Beyond the sandy shoreline of Lucy Vincent Beach on Martha’s Vineyard lies Allen Farm, one of the island’s oldest working farms (1762). Today it is one of a growing number of successful small-scale and diversified farming enterprises across the Commonwealth.
Owners Clarissa and Mitchell have long been at the forefront of sustainable technologies. In 1977 they erected an early Enertec wind turbine as one of the first “modern” windmills on the island. DAR’s Renewable Energy Program Coordinator Gerry Palano has been working with Clarissa and Mitchell to help them achieve their ultimate goal: installing a wind turbine or turbines on the property to power electrical loads at their farm, maybe even multiple others across Martha’s Vineyard and eligible mainland farms via net metering. To this end, a meteorological (MET) tower was recently installed to measure wind direction and speeds as part of a feasibility study being performed by local islander Brian Nelson of Nelson Mechanical.
The next steps include an electrical analysis, transportation studies for turbine and crane movements, an environmental overview, and formal FAA application. The Allen Farm will also begin the process of identifying farm partners with substantial electrical loads that will be the recipients of the farm’s wind turbine electricity.
For more information about the wind turbine project at Allen Farm, contact Gerry.Palano@state.ma.us. Of note: 30 acres of this almost 100-acre farm are permanently preserved under DAR’s Agriculture Preservation Restriction program.
Market-Based Program Designed to Continue Solar Growth posted on Jul 30
This April, the Commonwealth launched its second Solar Carve- Out Program. Built on the success of the first solar carve-out program, SREC II is designed to continue to drive Massachusetts’ solar growth and particularly provide incentives for smaller solar projects, building mounted units, community shared solar, solar canopies, emergency power and low income housing.
“Mass. Military Division” and “Energy Efficiency” Go Together posted on Jul 25
Energy measures implemented at a Mass. Military Divison site include improved lighting, high efficiency motors, HVAC controls and energy management system upgrades. Under the Accelerate Efficiency Plan, the Commonwealth is investing over $12 million at 29 state facilities throughout the Berkshires.
Solar a “No-Go” on Your Roof? Share Through Community Solar posted on Jul 16
Harvard residents who wanted solar on their homes and were unable to get it due to shading, sloping, or structural barriers, found a solution by sharing the Harvard Solar Garden, an approximately 250 kW project, provides 41 residents and six small businesses with sustainable, clean energy. .