Mead Orchards Goes Green

May 12, 2024 | by magnews24.com

Nestled in the rolling hills of Tivoli, Mead Orchards grows a delicious crop of fruits and vegetables all year-round. They’ve engineered each row of trees to soak up maximum sunlight, much like the solar modules on their barn roof.

“The way you lay out a modern apple orchard is actually all about light interception—how much sun you’re catching,” says Joe Nuciforo, Mead Orchards manager. “So you talk about harnessing the sun, that’s what we’re already doing. [Solar] is just another avenue for us. All the compressors and refrigeration we have going to keep that fruit good and fresh? Well, that all takes power. So it’s sort of a natural step for us to move on to harnessing the sun in new ways.”

click to enlarge Mead Orchards Goes Green

Courtesy SunCommon

Mead Orchards went solar with SunCommon in 2019, a move that enabled them to grow their fruit with sunlight, and then also use energy from the sun (via their solar panels) to keep it fresh. Not only does it feel great to maximize the sun’s potential, it’s also going to save them money. With 123 roof-mounted solar modules, Mead Orchards expects to save $193,000 over a 25-year period—and hopefully will continue to save for years to come after that, as most solar panels are productive well beyond their guaranteed 25 years.

Farmers everywhere are saving money and reducing their footprint by switching to solar. The team at SunCommon hears time and time again that solar power for farms just makes sense: the sun fuels everything else on the farm, so why not the electricity, too? Many farms have ample space to locate solar panels, whether on a barn roof or in a field, which helps bring value to underutilized assets. Instead of a rooftop basking in the sun all day and doing nothing with it, why not turn it into usable power that can also be sold back to the utility?

click to enlarge Mead Orchards Goes Green

Courtesy SunCommon

Installing solar panels on the barn at Mead Orchards.

Plus, there are federal and state incentives available to make it easier than ever for farmers to take the next step. New York State even provides no-cost assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in applying for a major federal grant called the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

SunCommon has solarized dozens of agricultural operations across the Hudson Valley and Capital Region, including Laughing Earth Farm in Cropseyville, Lowland Farm in Warwick, Tierra Farm in Valatie, Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville, and many more. Interested in learning more about going solar at home, on the farm, or at a place of business? Visit SunCommon.com, call (866) 452-7652, or email [email protected].

Mead Orchards — Powered by the Sun from SunCommon on Vimeo.

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