Yellow Springs Farm Saves With Solar
Yellow Springs Farm promotes land stewardship through the propagation and sale of native plant species. The farm came to the Kutztown University SBDC with a broad vision of becoming energy efficient. EMAP consultant Jeremy Hancher met with Al Renzi to discuss ways to improve energy efficiency while making upgrades to various buildings on the Farm. When Renzi brought up the possibility of using solar panels on the roof of his barn, Hancher worked with him to provide a complete financial analysis of a 4.9 Kilowatt (Kw) photovoltaic system. His report concluded that the electricity generated from the solar energy system would provide approximately 56 percent of total electricity use. Hancher also helped determine project costs and estimated the simple payback. He recommended Renzi applying for a Small Business Advantage Grant from the Pennsylvania DEP to help offset the initial costs and shorten the payback period. With EMAP assistance, Yellow Springs Farm applied for and received the full $7,500 requested. By implementing the solar project, the company will generate approximately 5,440 kWh “off the grid.” This will reduce electricity costs by nearly $780 per year, with a payback period of about 2-3 years. More about the Pennsylvania SBDCs and EMAP The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers’ Environmental Management Assistance Program assists firms with identifying environmental regulatory compliance requirements and supports the development of companies with new energy and environmental technologies. One-on-one consulting is available to help prepare and review proposals, find new commercial markets, identify potential sources of funding, and find potential project partners. Visit www.askemap.org for more information on how businesses can start saving money and contribute to a cleaner environment. Since its inception in 1980, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) has evolved into a network of 18 college- and university-based centers and more than 90 outreach locations, operating under the guidance of the State Director located at the University of Pennsylvania. The SBDCs play a unique and vital role in the Commonwealth’s economic development initiatives as the only organization that, in utilizing the expertise and resources of some of the best colleges and universities in the state, assists entrepreneurs in all stages of business and all industry sectors. Funding support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the US Small Business Administration and the SBDC host institutions enables consulting services to be provided at no charge to the client. For more information on the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers’ services and impact, visit www.pasbdc.org.