Sunlight to electric current! It’s amazing!
Photovoltaics (using sunlight to produce electric current) provide an elegant conversion of sunlight to energy with no moving parts and no environmental emissions. As the cost of solar panels decreases, the incentives to use solar energy continue to rise.
In keeping with New Pond Farm’s mission statement, to connect people to the land that sustains us all, the Board of Directors has decided to generate a portion of its energy needs by installing a photovoltaic system at the farm.
Two barn roofs will receive solar panels, and a “ground array” will be located adjacent to the existing composting facility. The roof panels are relatively unobtrusive. They are approximately 3’X5’X1′ and will be placed so as to maximize sunlight exposure. The “ground array” (a description that sounds daunting) will be approximately 40’x60’x6′. There is a certain smile-provoking symmetry about having photovoltaics positioned next to a shed of cow manure. A real- time display of the conversion of sunlight to electricity will be included in the solar project and can be viewed by visitors to the farm. The number and location of the panels was decided upon after consultation with photovoltaic experts, our amazing professional staff, the Board of Directors and the Zoning Commission.
Build out costs are being defrayed by a number of strategies including tax incentives, third party underwriting and local power producer incentives. This photovoltaic project is presently underway at NPF and will be completed by October. There will be not only a net savings in electrical costs as a result of this project, but a real reduction of New Pond Farm’s carbon footprint. We believe the use of solar energy is a responsible use of technology at New Pond Farm.
If south facing access to the sun is available to you, photovoltaics may be a viable way to reduce your carbon footprint.