NY dairy farm benefits from wind power - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Distributed Generation, Finance, Industrial, Wind  -  July 24, 2017

NY dairy farm benefits from wind power

A New York dairy farm is reaping the benefits that wind power can offer after installing two 100-kW turbines on its property in 2014 and 2016.

Miller Sonshine Acres Farm, located in Corfu, N.Y., installed the first turbine in December 2014, when the dairy operation consisted of five different locations, according to a news release from Northern Power Systems, who installed the wind systems.

The project was sited on the Miller’s farm and the meters were powered remotely by the project developer, Niagara Wind and Solar. After the 2014 installation, the dairy farm saw a 65% decrease in its electricity bill, according to the news release.

A second turbine was installed on the Miller Sonshine Acres Farm property and was operational in December 2016. The two wind turbines produced more than 180,000 kWh of energy in the first six months of 2017.

“I’m concerned about climate change and see the value in renewable energy,” Dan Miller, owner of the dairy farm, said in a statement. “But the bottom line is, I thought I could save some money -- and this has proven to be a great way to do that.”

The Miller family was initially motivated to install the first turbine because of incentives offered by the state, including the Small Wind Turbine program. Offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the program provides approximately $6 million in incentives to customers looking to install behind-the-meter, onsite wind energy systems that don’t exceed 2-MW per site, according to the program’s website.

The New York dairy farm was also assisted in its renewable energy efforts by the USDA’s Rural Energy for America program, which provides loan financing to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy projects. The program guarantees loans to small rural businesses for up to 75% and grants for up to 25% of the total eligible project costs for loans between $5,000 and $25 million.

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