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Adding a Little Sunshine to Miles Smith Farm

Here’s some great news from a friend of the No Bull Business Blog, Miles Smith Farm:

Grass-fed beef, land leased out to keep it green and an anticipated soon-to-arrive windmill allow Miles Smith Farm to rightfully lay claim for being environmentally friendly and fiscally sound.  That new bright spot at Miles Smith Farm, however, will be a solar powered green store.

miles-smith-storesignIn 2010, Miles Smith Farm was awarded a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant to help produce solar thermal energy for the new farm store to be added to the south side of the Miles Smith Farm barn. The NH Community Loan Fund also provided Miles Smith Farm with a loan and grant to help with the project to make the 1850s barn solar efficient.  Solar collectors on the roof of the barn will provide hot water to heat a concrete slab on the floor of the new store, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of April.

“We are creating a 100% solar store,” said Miles Smith Farm owner Carole Soule.  “Solar will be the only source of heat and electricity.  We know our ‘eco-efforts’ will pay off in many ways.”

The benefits are plentiful on both the environmental and financial sides.  The combination of having a super-insulated retail space and a photovoltaic system to offset power needs will save an estimated $890 per year in electricity costs.  In addition, the estimated 5,400 kWh of solar power generated each year avoids an estimated 3.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of 362 gallons of gasoline or 7.5 barrels of oil.

Replacing the electric heaters in the sales room extension off the barn with a solar thermal system is estimated to save the farm another $800-plus per year.  This savings further equates to reducing 3.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide—the equivalent carbon sequestered by 79.6 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

“The Community Loan Fund is proud to be financing the Miles Smith Farm solar store.  The energy efficiency built into this old barn should be great for the business, its customers, and the environment,” said Rick Minard, the Community Loan Fund’s vice president for policy.

The public is invited to attend the Grand Opening on May 20th from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Miles Smith Farm, 56 Whitehouse Road, Loudon.  Enjoy a free lunch of grilled burgers to celebrate.  For more information, visit www.milessmithfarm or call 603 783 5159.

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