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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Merging sustainable agriculture and clean energy

From article in the Green Energy newsletter of Scenic Valley:

Together with Scenic Valley Farms, our sister company, we have merged sustainable agricultural and renewable energy into a single package. The project employs high tunnel farming, in-ground solar thermal heating, and the best performing small wind turbines on the market.

The entire operation allows you to earn a high return on investment while promoting both locally grown food and clean energy.

High tunnels are naturally ventilated gothic shaped structures similar in appearance to greenhouses but significantly less expensive. They are constructed with metal purlins to provide horizontal support which are attached to metal hoops. The whole structure is then covered with plastic.

High tunnels have a wide variety of advantages compared to field grown produce. They can extend the growing season, allow growers to receive a premium price for offseason produce, boost the quality of produce, conserve natural resources and help meet the increasing demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Our company begins the process by locating property with above average wind resources. We then tap into all available financial incentives, and launch a high tunnel agriculture operation.

A high performing small wind turbine provides all the necessary electricity for the high tunnels. Plus, the excess electricity generated is sold back to the utility at retail rates.

And the in-ground solar thermal technology developed by our company, eliminates the need for fossil fuel based heating.

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