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More green than before…

October 20, 2011

As of 8:48am this morning we started a new type of farming.  We are now in the business of harvesting the sun.  And this morning, after months of working on this project, Salt River Project came out and flipped the switch.

Oh was it nice to see our electric meter spinning in the other direction!  We are now producing clean energy, not only for our own needs, but we are able to send the excess energy generated back out into the power grid.

Earlier this summer, we started working with Royal Solar of Arizona on the installation of a 50kW (49.92kW to be exact) solar field on the roof of our warehouse.  While Sean was busy prepping the fields for crops, Bob was prepping the roof of our warehouse for the 208 solar panels for our system.  Here is a little of the progress as it unfolded this summer…

This is taking our organic farm into a whole new level of sustainability.  This system will provide our farm with clean solar electricity for the next 25-30 years.  The projected annual electricity production from the system will 86,200kWh.  At this yield the system would offset 4,126,124 lbs of carbon over its lifetime, the equivalent of planting 42,609 trees or saving 211,843 gallons of gas.  Royal Solar of Arizona could not have been easier or nicer to work with.  Everything from the moment we started working on this project was handled professionally and efficiently.  They did a beautiful job with the installation and we are excited to partner with them on this project.  They have installed a similar system at the Queen Creek Olive Mill.  They do residential installation as well.  For more information, visit  They have a write up about our specific project as well that you can find here.

And now for the sentence I never thought I would say…

I can’t wait for next month’s electric bill!!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2011 12:09 am

    Very fun! I love picturing the dial going the other direction.

  2. October 21, 2011 3:13 am

    And THAT is why I simply LOVE reading your blog posts my friend – so YOU! Miss you!!! Coffee soon? xo

  3. Andrea Thompson permalink
    October 21, 2011 3:22 am

    You guys just make me want to weep with happiness. You are so busy doing the RIGHT thing. Every time I see Bob at the Farmer’s market, I want to run over and hug and kiss him. I know that is cliche because so does everyone else and when I see it happen it looks weird. So, I don’t do it. But I do say some kind of little gratefulness prayer when I see him. How would those of us who want fresh, organic stuff eat if you guys weren’t here?? I mean, really, how would we? I just can’t tell you how grateful I am that you are doing what you are doing. The blog is also awesome!! Someone was telling me that there was no way the arugula was washed cleaned and I showed them your blog with the demonstration of the equipment.!!! HAHAHAHHA! That person was stunned!!

    • October 21, 2011 4:34 am

      I am glad you like the blog and glad you shared it at the market. That is so funny – thank you!

  4. October 21, 2011 1:56 pm

    McClendon Crew – This is awesome. I have had a 2 KW system here at the Urban Farm since 2006 and love it – especially when I get my may or oct electric bill of $8.11. It is not enough to offset my entire bill for the year – but it does make a difference.

    I would love to know the specifics of the finances to get a system of that size in. Credits, utility offsets and payback if you wouldn’t mind sharing.

    My system was $15k and after offsets and credits I ended up coming out of pocket only $4.5k.

    Great work and I hear you about getting your next utility bill.

    Greg Peterson
    The Urban Farm

  5. Joan Knapp permalink
    October 21, 2011 3:36 pm

    I cannot begin to adequately express my admiration, appreciation, and gratitude for all of your efforts to make our Mother Earth a happier, healthier planet! I wholeheartedly second the accolades expessed in the above comments.

  6. October 22, 2011 4:20 pm

    Thank You for truly being a sustainable farm. It excites me to know that businesses like yours are truly caring for Mother Earth! It is this kind of example that encourages people like me to be loyal patrons! Keep up the good work.

  7. Art & Betty Yee permalink
    October 24, 2011 6:35 pm

    Great job. If you have any extra credit being generated, send it over here to California (what are friends for????)
    Marvelous what you’re doing over there. I know this is Sean and Kate’s doing (new and invigorating ideas)

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