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Power To Save: Harvesting the Sun

DYBERRY TOWNSHIP — A farm in Wayne County is harvesting from more than the earth. Now, it’s using the sun’s rays to power its growing operatio...

DYBERRY TOWNSHIP -- A farm in Wayne County is harvesting from more than the earth. Now, it's using the sun's rays to power its growing operation.

Step inside the coolers at Anthill Farm near Honesdale and you can feel the cost of keeping produce cool.

Sky Ballentine and his wife Monique have spent a decade making the land and the farming tools they use as sustainable as possible, and now Anthill Farm has gone solar.

"Essentially, what we came up with is a way to immediately save us money while producing clean, renewable energy," Sky Ballantine said.

This week, crews finished installing solar panels on the barn's roof, enough to power everything under this roof, as well as two homes on the property.

A federal grant and the Clean Energy Co-op paid the bill for the panels and the farm pays back the loan over 15 years.

"Sky's always been paying more for renewable energy. At that price point, the loan payments are less than his payments on the electricity bill," said Jack Barnett, Clean Energy Co-op.

For years, this farm in Wayne County has relied solely on power from the power grid. Now that solar is on the roof of the barn, any excess power will go back on the grid and be used by neighbors.

"If any improvements need to be made to the barn or add additional freezers or another walk-in to grow the business, we'd be able to do that comfortably because we've built in 125 percent of our needs with the solar system," explained Monique Milleson, Anthill Farm.

The panels should last 25 years meaning after 15 years, Anthill Farm should be getting free power from the sun, saving big money and putting that back into the farm.

"It is important what our planet and climate is going to look like in the future," Ballentine said.