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Fruit Farm Uses Solar for Majority of Power

Fruit Farm Uses Solar for Majority of Power

In Massachusetts, Carlson Orchards has installed a 220 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system. The solar system will supply about two-thirds of the facility’s electricity. The farm grows apples, nectarines and peaches. They also make about 500,000 gallons of cider each year. The solar panels are being used to power the cider press, and large refrigeration buildings for preserving the fruits grown on site.

Evergreen Solar provided the solar panel technology and Lighthouse Electrical Construction installed the system on two acres on the Carlson Orchards’ land. The panels were  products of Massachusetts, so the whole project has helped the local economy, and will continue to do so. Using electricity from solar rather than non-renewable sources will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 3,700 metric tons per year.

CEO of Carlson Orchards, Frank Carlson said, “I had looked at solar incentives, but Symantha Gates of EC3 Consulting helped guide and provide us a vision — a sustainability approach for our power consumption — that was viable. She managed our financing and project implementation.” Samantha Gates founded EC3 to develop green energy projects like the one for Carlson Farms. She helped secure grants from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative of over $500,000 and another of $278,000 from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

The over 1,000 solar panels are integrated into the farm’s landscape, and are near a high traffic area, so thousands of people will get to see them. The architecture firm Stephen Kelleher Architects, assisted with the design of the solar plant.

Carlson Orchards has been in business since 1938. In addition to growing produce for markets, they allow visitors to pick their own fruit. Their farm is 120 acres.

Image Credit: digcla’s

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32 comments

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8:25PM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

Good news. More people and business should be using solar power.

I live in Australia & we had solar hot water in the 80's then late 90's went back to HSW. then 2 years ago we went solar HW again and then last year we had 10 solar panels installed and we haven'y had a electricity account yet. Infact we are $500 in credit.

2:08PM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

good job

11:25AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

Interesting.
Thank you

5:53PM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

Good example of what will help in many places in the U.S.A. which really needs help at this time.

5:50PM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

I would like to do something like this --someday. So many people would. I wonder if we could get these people together in various places to work on farms like this and -- eventually own there own. We may need grants and sponsers. Any and all interested in working with me, please send me a message. I like organic gardens, organic homesteads, passivee solar energy porches and green house stuctures, indoor organic farming, solar panels,homemade windmills and God -- Father,Son and Holy Spirit, and people who let people be themselves.

12:10AM PST on Jan 9, 2012

Great article, thank you.

6:20PM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

Everything about this project makes me smile. ; D

10:08PM PDT on Sep 20, 2010

congratulations! What a great example to help out an orchard, good thinking.

8:47PM PDT on Sep 17, 2010

This sounds very good.

10:28PM PDT on Sep 6, 2010

Good news and although the article isn't very clear on the point it would sound as though they have made good use of non-productive land.

Make a difference, plant a Tree.

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