Earth Care Farm in Charlestown receives state grant for solar installation

Earth Care Farm in Charlestown receives state grant for solar installation

The Westerly Sun

CHARLESTOWN — Earth Care Farm will soon have its own green energy source through a state grant for solar power.

The 27-acre farm located at 89a Country Drive, has been awarded a $20,000 grant toward the installation of a 15.6 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system that will offset power used by the farm’s composting and agricultural operation.

The farm is one of seven agricultural operations across the state receiving a portion of $90,000 in grants supporting solar projects intended to help farmers “green” their operations and save energy and money.

Funding for the grants came through the Rhode Island Farm Energy Program, which provides current information on energy and grant opportunities to farmers and farm-related small businesses. The program is a project of the Rhode Island Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, Inc. The grants were announced Wednesday by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and the Rhode Island Resource Conservation & Development Area Council.

Jayne Merner Senecal, who co-owns the farm with her father, Michael Merner, said Thursday that the ground-mounted solar energy system will supply 98 to 100 percent of the farm’s energy and will be located in a fenced-off portion of a cow pasture,

Sun Watts Solar, of Providence, will install the $63,000 system, which Senecal said will pay for itself in about three years. “It’s a good match for our farm with our model of sustainability,” she said.


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