August 31, 2017: It's has happened! After raising more than $60,000 from our membership, via sales of Preferred Shares earlier this month, the Co-op has successfully financed a 37.8kW solar PV system to go on the barn roof at the Anthill Farm. The loan paperwork was signed this morning, and except for a few minor items (like updating the USDA to ensure the grant funds are still good), Anthill is ready to authorize the first deposit on construction. The exciting thing is that Anthill's loan payments, along with sales of excess electricity, will be lower cost than their current annual electricity bills. The next step is filing the necessary interconnection paperwork with PPL Electric utility. Then the contractor, Buselli Solutions, will order the equipment (126 LG panels of 300w each, and 3 inventers made by SolarEdge) and begin installing them as soon as possible after that. Sky Ballentine, owner of Anthill, is already working to clear the stored equipment from the side of the barn in preparation. We'll post more pictures as soon as construction gets started, hopefully before the end of September. Please join us for detailed update on the project at our annual membership meeting, coming up at 7pm on October 3rd at the 648 Park St. in Honesdale. Thanks to all our members, and especially those who have invested their money to make clean energy in our community and this project possible!
May 6, 2017: We are excited to announce our Co-op's second Solar PV project has been approved to move forward! The Anthill Farm in Bethany PA (outside of Honesdale) is a sustainable farming operation, producing a variety of fruits and vegetables for local retail and wholesale markets. They will be building a large ~38kW solar array on the roof of their steel barn, intended to provide more than enough electricity for farm operations, as well as for the Lackawaxen Farm Company which is also located on the site. This time, rather than owning the PV system, the Co-op will be providing a simple long-term loan to Anthill, plus serve as technical advisor. Anthill has applied for a USDA REAP grant, and looks likely to receive around $13,000 toward the system's construction cost. The Co-op will be raising the remaining funds from its members. Once operational Anthill will see a positive cashflow since the annual loan payments will be less than they are currently paying their utility for electricity; plus as a commercial business they benefit from a 30% federal tax credit and accelerated depreciation.