Going Green: Solar powered farm
YNN's Terry Ettinger talks to a local farmer who operates his farm on a rather resourceful type of power.
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As you look over the field of corn and other crops on Our Farm in the town of Cazenovia, and than look up at the roof on the barn, you realize that it's solar power at work. This 45 panel solar system on the roof of the barn has been working smoothly for nearly a year. Owner Jimmy Golub said mechanical problems are unlikely since there are so few moving parts.
"There's not much to it, unlike wind, where you have bearings and moving parts. Once it's installed, it pretty much takes care of itself," said Golub.
The solar panels are wired to an inverter inside the barn. The inverter converts the DC power to AC power, and then it goes into the net metering system for distribution. The big question is, is it enough to power their household?
"Over the course of a year, it is yes. We also installed a solar hot-water system since last fall, in the spring, and that really contributes quite a bit. Hot water can use up to thirty percent of your electrical bill if you have an electric hot water heater, so the two things together are really doing the job for us," Golub explained.
The solar-powered system performed well in September and October but efficiency decreased in the winter, then surged in the spring.
"Than came April and the days lengthened, we got a lot more sun. We produced a lot more power," said Golub.
They are encouraging others to install similar systems.
Golub said, "Absolutely, absolutely in farming or even a homeowner. Really it can work for anybody. The grants and incentives are really tremendous, and it works."