CASE STUDY: Good Karma Ranch
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Good Karma Ranch is a small, family owned farm located in North Carolina. They are dedicated to raising alpacas responsibly while also creating high-quality renewable and affordable products. The owners are very environmentally conscious and have made many efforts centered around being as sustainable as possible.
In 2012, the folks at Good Karma Ranch were ready to make an investment in reducing their future energy costs. At the same time, because of their dedication to raising alpaca and operating a farm, they recognized the importance of protecting the environment. They had previously been subscribing to a renewable energy program through their electric company, but wanted to make a more direct impact by building and owning clean energy on their property.
The RENU Solution
In consultation with their solar installer, Renu Energy Solutions, the farm’s owners, the Walshes, decided that a solar energy system should be mounted on the ground in order to best meet their needs. The 5-kiloWatt solar system would still be located close to the large barn which would use the power produced to offset its energy, over time letting the solar pay for itself as electricity rates fluctuate and rise.
With ample space and alpaca willing to “mow” the grass around the panels, a ground-mount system would have the benefit of never having to be removed from a building for roof repair or other reason.
Beyond saving on energy costs, Good Karma Ranch frequently finds that visitors, community members, and business contacts support their solar choice and appreciate the farm’s strides in sustainability. Some farms can even apply for and obtain federal government grants as an added incentive for going solar.