Green Building - Solar Arrays On The Farm  

The new solar arrays that were installed on The Farm in 2010 are an interesting example of the New Farm and its mixed of collective and private economy. It is also a prime illustration of how we all share in the many achievements of the community, even though we as individuals may not be directly involved.

Unlike other states such as California, Tennessee only provides rebates and incentives to businesses that install solar panels for generating power, not individuals or private homes. The arrays currently in the community are connected to privately owned businesses.

Solar panels
This 58 Kilowatt system for the Mail Order Catalog
will produce more power than the business consumes,
generating income as well as electricity.
One is a 17KW system powering SE International, an electronics manufacturing facility, and the other is a 60 KW system connected to Mail Order Catalog, a retail business selling food, books and other products through catalog and web sales. sei panels
SEI's 17 KW system

SEI and its employees supplied the investment capital to purchase the system powering their business and the owners of Mail Order are in partnership with another Farm business which wanted to invest in solar but did not have direct access to a site with adequate sun. Both were able to take advantage of State and Federal programs to help offset the cost of installation.

Both arrays function as "grid tie" systems supplying power directly into the TVA electrical power lines. Installed meters keep track of the amount of power generated. TVA is currently paying a premium price for power generated by solar, double what it charges consumers for coal fired electricity. A contract with TVA guarantees that price for the next several years, allowing the investors to recoup their money in 5-7 years.

Although private investors provided the capital and will reap the financial benefits from the solar installations, the community provided the ground on which they stand and all residents will share in the visible statement and commitment to alternative energy these systems represent.

under panels  

This 4.2 KW system is connected to an office. panels
A golf cart charging station is accessible behind the panels. earth shelter panels
Workshops and Activities
Farm School
Green Buildings and Homes Tour
Our 14th year!

community dinner
Life in Community

Gardening and Growing Food
Meditation & Yoga
The Spiritual Path

Health and Diet

Experience the Land April 12-14
swan trust

Community & Sustainability Conference May 22-24FIC..

Organic Gardening Intensive
June 3-7 Five Days of hands-on gardening as well as garden tours on and off-The Farm to visit the nearby Amish community, permaculture homesteads, and more...more
Summer Retreat July 15-19
Swimming, hiking, kid activities, workshops and GREAT FOOD! Fun for the entire family. Includes camp sites. Click here for a list of accommodations
Midwifery Workshops
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True Sustainability

The Farm's Green Home Gallery
This 17 Kilowatt system provides power to SE International, an electronics manufacturing firm located on the Farm.
  Green Life Retreats
A division of Village Media Services
PO Box 259
Summertown, TN 38483
931-964-2590 - office
931-626-4035 - cell