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Green Power Partnership

Partner Profile


Emory Knoll Farms
Location Street, MD
Organization Type Ag. & Nat. Resources
Percentage Green Power 102.9%
Purchasing Third-Party Certified Green Power Product? Yes
Organization-wide Purchase Yes
Partner Profile
Emory Knoll Farms is working towards being a 100% carbon neutral company.



Solar and Wind Energy

The Grid:

Our ancient, creaky solar photovoltaic array still cranks out 1,200 Watts of electricity on a sunny day. When we started the nursery, this was enough to spin our meter backwards on most days. But as we’ve grown, we’ve added people and therefore computers and servers, finished rooms with light fixtures, printers, and pumps. Our current draw on the grid has become far more than our original solar array puts back. To complete the renewable energy component of our electric consumption we now purchase 100% wind energy from CleanCurrents.



Solar Irrigation:

We’ve implemented two solar irrigation systems. The first uses a small solar powered well pump to pump water into a reservoir. The overflow from this goes into a fish-pond in one of our greenhouses, and from there into a pond, where it recharges the ground water. Gravity and an AC booster pump provide water pressure from the reservoir.



The second solar system is more sophisticated, and supplies most of our water needs. A powerful solar well pump feeds water continuously into 4,000 gallon of water tanks. A float switch automatically shuts the pump off when the tanks are full. Another solar array charges a bank of batteries. The batteries then provides energy to a pressure booster pump, which charges our pressure system. A network of buried pipes brings the water to our greenhouses and outdoor storage areas. All of this is in an area where there is no grid energy available, so reliability of the system is a must.



Heat

For the past three years, we’ve heated the nursery – 4 greenhouses and our offices with waste vegetable oil. The oil comes from local restaurants, and is diverted from the waste stream (Re-use!). It is stored and used in our 350,000 btu/hour boiler.


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