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Sharing the beauty and bounty of our land with Community Solar

 
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Harmony Farm solar array.
Photo credit: Harmony Farm

Source: Barbara and Knox Johnson

Our family moved to Vermont with the intention of living collaboratively, honoring the land and being active members of the community. We were fortunate to find a farm property in Hartland that was a community gathering place for generations before us. The Bowers family operated a dairy business and welcomed neighbors to their home, which was the historic site of barn dances and other social events.

We named our property “Harmony Farm”, and we have dedicated ourselves to being good stewards of the land, sharing both the beauty and bounty produced here. Our friends and neighbors have enjoyed all aspects of Harmony Farm, from the peony festivals to the community gardens, the labyrinth, the apple orchard, and environmental education programs. We are proud to invite them to participate in a new and innovative Community Solar Project.

We were attracted to SunCommon’s Community solar program because it reflects a shared set of environmental values and addresses any concerns we may have had about undertaking such a project on our land. Since a rooftop array wasn’t a viable option for us, we were excited to learn about the opportunities available through building a solar array that can be shared with friends and neighbors.

When siting the array, SunCommon collaborated closely with us to examine any possible impact on wetlands, wildlife and the environment. The array will occupy just one acre of our 45-acre farm, preserving our flower farm operation, wild spaces and access roads. This acre has not been developed for production in the past, and creating the solar array provides a unique opportunity for innovative use that serves our overall environmental purpose.

With many Vermonters embracing the move away from using fossil fuels to produce electricity, there is a potential for the State to take the lead in becoming fully solarized. We are glad to contribute to this achievement in a way that preserves the land and enables other families to support renewable energy.