Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The solar orchard

This is what a quarter-megawatt looks like.

Carlson Orchards, in Harvard, Mass., has installed a two-acre photovoltaic array to power its operation.

I viewed it for the first time on September 6.

It's quite the largest of its kind that I have seen.

The array produces 220 kW of electricty, a little less than a quarter of a megawatt.

Based on what folks there were saying when I visited, it sounds as though some of this generating capacity is surplus during the summer and is sold back to the grid. In the winter the owners expect to use all of the power to run their cold-storage facility and vast cider-making operation.

According to the Harvard (Mass.) Press,

some experts say it could provide as much as 80 percent of the farm’s energy consumption [but owner Frank] Carlson says “it will take a year to know exactly how much it will provide."


  1. That looks like an amazing operation. Low carbon cider sounds great!

  2. I should probably have noted that Carlson's cider, like most here in the States, is sweet, i.e. unfermented.


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