Sun Farm Network Installs PV Arrays

Learn about Sun Farm Network’s initiative to provide solar power to New Jersey farmers.

| February/March 2006

More than 75 farmers in New Jersey have found a way to save money on their electricity bills while also reducing pollution — solar power.

They are members of Power Crop Initiative, a unique for-profit program that pays for the installation and maintenance of photovoltaic (PV) arrays on farms, using private funds and state rebates. In return for providing space for the installation, participating farmers get guaranteed discount prices for electricity.

Pam Frank, spokeswoman for Sun Farm Network, the company that launched the initiative in 2003, says the program is an effort to make alternative energy more affordable to the masses.

“Solar power is great, but the upfront cost is huge,” Frank says. “We wanted to find a way to make it sustainable and competitive in the mainstream market.”

The program made sense to commercial flower grower Tom Roll of Lebanon, N.J., who says the six PV arrays are a nice fit among his greenhouses.

“I’m always looking for ways to cut down on my energy bills,” he says.

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