Farm installs solar facility
PRESQUE ISLE — Smith’s Farm of Presque Isle, a sixth-generation agricultural producer, has recently completed a large solar project at their cooling/packing facility in Westfield.
GOING SOLAR — These solar panels are the newest addition to Smith’s Farm’s Westfield cooling/packing facility. The assembly contains a total of 720 solar panels and is expected to produce 310,000 kWh per year.
The company, which markets under the Stag brand, is the largest producer of broccoli and cauliflower in the Northeast.
“As members of the sixth generation of this family-owned business, we recognize that preserving our legacy means preserving our natural resources,” said Tara Smith Vightetti. “This solar project is one way we are continuing to innovate when it comes to conservation and sustainability.”
The system is anticipated to produce 310,000 kWh per year. The array consists of 30 dual-axis trackers fitted with 24 modules each, for a total of 720 solar panels. Dual-axis trackers follow the sun daily from east to west, and adjust to the optimum angle seasonally, producing up to 45 percent more energy than fixed-mount panels. Electricity produced will feed directly into the facility with excess potentially off-setting other accounts owned by the farm.
Maine Energy Performance Solutions (MEPS) was the installer of 205kW project.
“With this project, Smith’s Farm can now reap another harvest from its most valuable resource: the sun,” said Rich Simon, business development director with MEPS. Located in Washington Maine, MEPS designs, builds and develops solar projects in Maine and other northeastern states.
Smiths Farm recognized employee Miles Williams for spearheading and organizing the project. In addition to lead contractor MEPS, the farm cited the following who contributed to the project’s success: AllEarth Renewables, dual-axis solar device supplier; Emera Maine; County Electric, construction and electrical services; Langille Construction, construction services; CGS Construction, concrete services; Frontier Construction, excavation services; and Maine Solar Engineering, engineering services.