Solar panels on the roof of the Tamarack Farm Camp in Vermont

We have wanted to go solar for years at Farm & Wilderness, however, non-profits like government agencies, cannot use the State and Federal tax credits, making large solar installations difficult to afford. Last year Green Mountain Power, understanding this challenge, offered a grant for non-profits making solar more affordable.

Going Green!!
We took advantage of this and put 15,000 watts on the roof of the Tamarack Farmhouse, which will produce 18,000 kW hrs of electricity annually, nearly 20 percent of the entire Foundation’s electricity consumption.
The Farmhouse now produces more electricity than it consumes and in conjunction with the gasification boilers we purchase very little fuel, only what we need for cooking and backup heat.  In addition, we elected to keep Renewable Energy credits or REC’s (the “green attribute” of a project) ensuring that we do our part to make sure we are contributing to Renewable Energy.

Solar ArrayWe are investigating a much larger system to provide the balance of our electricity and then some as we are converting some of our space and water heating systems to air source heat pumps.  These efficient systems combined with solar are one of the most sustainable strategies available.  We are eager to see the results in our upcoming 2016 Greenhouse Gas Audit! 

Green Mountain Power has been an amazing utility to work with, they are committed to helping their customers reduce their energy usage, costs, and fossil fuel emissions.  We are now working with them on a battery for our Dairy Barn to eliminate the need for a generator during power outages, in turn, they are testing this battery in their quest to build microgrids, a new approach for putting energy generation and distribution in partnership with their customers.

Here’s to Sunshine!

-Jay Kullman | Director of Sustainable Resources



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