Four innovative solar trackers are now powering Goranson Farm in Dresden, Maine. The 25-kW solar project will help offset the electrical bills of Goranson Farm, a third-generation, family-owned organic farm. The array is anticipated to produce 47,000 kWh per year, and offset nearly 100% of the farm’s energy needs.
The project was installed by Maine Energy Performance Solutions, a fully integrated energy service company, located in Washington, Maine.
“We have been wanting to do this solar project for a number of years, and Rich and his team at Maine Energy Performance were really able to pull the pieces together to make it happen,” says Rob Johanson, Goranson Farm co-owner. “A lot of people buy organically-grown foods because they like the idea of food being raised without the use of chemicals. For us, organic is a lot more than that. It’s really a way of life and honoring the trust our customers place in us. To be an organic farmer means to grow foods working with the land and the environment in a sustainable way for future generations, and this project is an extension of that.”
The farm, owned and operated by Jan Goranson, her husband Rob Johanson, and their two sons Carl and Goran, sells its vegetables, meats, poultry, and maple syrup through local stores, farmer’s markets, and its own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Their solar project will help offset the energy usage associated with operating the farm and producing approximately 400 gallons of maple syrup each year.
Funding for the approximately $150,000 project was provided by two grants from the USDA, in addition to financing through Coastal Enterprise Inc. of Brunswick, Maine.
“We were thrilled to supply innovative, New England-made solar trackers for Goranson Farm. We love working with farmers because we share a mutual and reliable partner. They use the sun to grow their crops, and we install a product that makes electricity from the sun. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a match made in heaven,” said Rich Simon for Maine Energy Performance Solutions.
The project utilized American-made AllEarth Solar Trackers, which track the sun throughout the day to maximize energy production. The ground-mounted pre-engineered solar trackers are designed for residential and commercial-scale installations and are manufactured in Williston, Vermont, by AllEarth Renewables.
AllEarth Solar Trackers produce over 30% more energy than fixed ground-mounted systems and up to 45% more energy than rooftop systems per kilowatt installed.
In addition to the solar trackers, the farm has also invested in a reverse osmosis machine to help reduce the farm’s firewood usage and create further energy conservation in their syrup production.
“This project captures the real benefits solar can provide to agricultural operations, and particularly organic farms, which are already demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and the environment.” said David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables. “We are thrilled our partners at Maine Energy Performance Solutions made this project such a success.”
News item from AllEarth