Going green: Community farm installs solar panels
The sun will do more than grow vegetables at the Jamestown Community Farm with the installation of solar panels this week. Farm manager Bob Sutton said SPG Renewables of Newport is installing the 16-panel solar array.
The solar system was designed by Stuart Flanagan and Michael Cabral, who are the owners of SPG Renewables. Both young men grew up in Jamestown.
Flanagan said the 16 panels will generate 3.52 kilowatts of direct current electricity. The unit will be connected to National Grid to create a “net metered system.” The system will provide the Jamestown Community Farm with a credit on its utility bill for the electricity that is generated.
The farm will be reimbursed at the wholesale rate for the electricity it makes, Flanagan said. Sutton hopes that the solar panels will create a surplus of electricity over what the farm needs.
Money for the solar panels came from a Champlin Foundation grant of $13,500. About $9,000 of the grant will be used to build a roof and cistern rainwater collection system. Sutton said about $4,000 will fund the new solar panels.
At the farm there will be electricity used at the new barn and in the greenhouse, Sutton said.
Flanagan and Cabral have donated their labor to install the new solar panels. SPG Renewables specializes in renewable energy systems, such as solar electrical, solar thermal, geo thermal and wind power.
Founded in 2000, the 17-acre community farm has grown more than 150,000 pounds of vegetables for distribution to food pantries throughout the state. The farm is run entirely on volunteer support.