GOSHEN – Nearly 200 blue solar panels were at work Monday, soaking up sunshine so 5 Spoke Creamery can spend less on power and more on growing the business.
After more overcast gray days than anyone can count, farmer Alan Glustoff hosted about 50 people – local and state officials, business leaders and neighbors – to a celebration of the solar power delivered to the 75-acre dairy farm via grants and a low-interest loan.
“It’s a major boost to the farm,” Glustoff said as some guests took photos of calves while others sampled the creamery’s cheeses, and breads from Janet’s Quality Baked Goods in Florida, N.Y.
Reduced operating expenses, he said, opens the possibility of building more aging rooms that could double the output from this year’s anticipated 30,000 pounds of artisan cheeses.
His was the first project of Energize NY, the state Energy Improvement Corp.’s new finance program supporting conservation and renewable energy projects for commercial enterprises.
The solar installation by Novel Approaches of Middletown was financed with grants of about $39,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $50,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.