Limoneira Company's 5.5 acre, 6,400 solar panel, 1 megawatt capacity "solar orchard"--complete with observation deck--was designed to meet the rigorous standards necessary to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-level certification. LEED is the country's foremost standard in green building. This solar farm is the first private sector LEED Gold certification awarded in Ventura County.
Yesterday was the second of three scheduled information sessions to educate Massachusetts farmers about financial incentives that can help them afford solar installations and other renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Hosted by the Mass Farm Energy Program (MFEP), the sessions provide in-depth coverage of state and federal programs that can help your farm (or, for some incentives, rural small business) reduce energy costs.
At the University of Delaware, an on-site dairy farm is not only an educational resource for agricultural students, but a shining example of the value solar electric systems can bring to small farmers. 44 solar panels are part of a 9.2-kw system. Tom Sims, an environmental science professor and deputy dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, told the UD Daily that the goal of the system "is to develop a sustainable dairy that not only uses solar energy to help operate its equipment but to demonstrate it is doable and practical". While the farm has made forays into sustainability in the past, this is its first venture into renewable energy.
The state of Oregon has had a long-standing reputation for green-mindedness, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before news surfaced of its farmers employing renewable energy to power their crops. This Associated Press story from yesterday highlights the increasing frequency with which agriculturalists in the Beaver State have been tapping into clean technologies such as solar or hydroelectric power.