Congratulations to our client, Kearsarge Energy, on first Solar Grazing program
Congratulations to Kearsarge Energy on announcing its first Solar Grazing program at its 1.9 MW AC solar facility in Great Barrington, MA.
The environmentally friendly program, which began in May 2019, allows Kearsarge to use the natural vegetative growth at the site to feed a herd of 30 lambs for the summer, rather than using gas-powered mowers to keep the flora contained around the panels.
By raising lambs at the site the land is naturally fertilized; this increases healthy vegetative growth, which in turn increases water storage efficiency and reduces erosion – all while containing the kind of overgrowth that has the potential to reduce solar efficiency. Unlike goats, sheep will not destroy roots during the feeding process; by moving them around the site they are encouraged to consume “just enough” to keep plants thriving. Site fencing, mandated for solar arrays, helps keep predators away without added construction. On a hot day you’ll find the lambs relaxing under the panels, which supply essential shade, as well as protection from rain and wind.
Andrew Bernstein, Managing Director of Kearsarge Energy notes, “As a renewable energy company, our focus continues to be sustainable energy production. By replacing mowing with grazing we make solar even better for the local environment. We’ve found the lambs to be among Kearsarge’s most endearing and industrious dinner guests.”
Kearsarge developed, financed and constructed this solar project, which came on line in 2018 — a significant factor in keeping another Massachusetts family farm intact. Constructed on a parcel of comparatively unproductive farm land, the array pushes more than 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity into the local utility grid. The site provides the Athol-Royalston School System, the Hampshire County Sherrif’s Office, and the Town of Westminster with reduced-cost electricity – through net-metering credits. The Town of Great Barrington also receives substantial tax revenues from the site.
Kearsarge Energy, based in Boston, MA, is a leading renewable energy project development, finance, and asset management company, with a dual mission to help build a more sustainable world and to provide superior returns to stakeholders and the environment. Kearsarge is focused on creating long-term value by working with local communities to meet the growing demand for commercial and utility-scale renewable energy projects.