Both solar and wind power produce electricity for the farm. These systems are all grid-tied which means that they are wired into the breaker boxes that are fed with power from the power company, Bangor Hydro. When the farm uses more power than it produces, it consumes power from Bangor Hydro. When the more power is produced from Solar and/or wind then is used at the farm, power is sent back to Bangor Hydro and the farm is given a credit on it's electricity bill for the number of killoWatt hours that were produced. This is known as net metering.
From an initial assessment of the farm's energy use, it was clear that a good deal of electricity was used on pumps for irrigation. To offset some of this electricity students installed two solar PV arrays. The first array was a 10 panel, roof mounted array on the south facing shed roof. These are 230W Yingli solar panels. A 10 panel array as a maximum power rating of 2.3 KWatts. and produces about 400 kWh each month. This was installed in December of 2010 as part of a workshop for students and community members.
In the spring of 2010, students installed a 4-panel ground mount array a part a lab practical for a COA courses; 'Math and Physics of Sustainable Energy.
By May 1, 2011 the array had already produced 2 MWh--and the summer was still to come! As of September 2011, the panels have generated 2.84 MWh, about 20 kWh each sunny day. You can see the production of these panels here.
The panels were purchased as a full 20 panel pallet. This allowed for a discount for bulk rate. The remaining panels were used at Peggy's Farm in Bar Harbor.