Minnesota apple orchard adds 79 kW of solar to power operations

Between the fruit trees and berry bushes Afton Apple Orchard, two solar panels are shot. A rooftop array installed at a workshop in 2018 is now complemented by a larger 79 kW array atop a shed recently added to the property. All Energy Solar, a full-service provider of solar energy solutions, designed and installed the systems to provide clean energy on-site at the family-owned and operated orchard in Hastings, Minnesota.

Nestled in the Saint Croix River Valley on approximately 250 acres, Afton Apple produces Minnesota-grown crops beyond apples, including raspberries, pumpkins and more. The grounds are a seasonal destination for family-friendly activities, such as home-picked produce, a corn maze, playground, and petting zoo. The shop sells cider, pies, jams and other items, as well as pre-picked fruits and vegetables.

“The Femling family and staff of Afton Apple Orchard have always embraced sustainability, the concept of giving back and doing good through the community. Supporting their property with solar energy not only helps Afton Apple significantly reduce their grid energy consumption, but also demonstrates their environmental commitment to thousands of visitors each year,” said Michael Thalhimer, director of business development at All Energy Solar. “This project was important to the Femlings; we are excited to support the company and its mission to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.”

The array will cover most of the electrical needs for the shop, machinery, lighting, refrigeration and outbuildings of the orchard.

“Interest in our solar project was originally driven by my husband, Frank, who always believed in renewable energies and sought ways to make our operation more efficient and cut costs,” said Cindy Femling, owner of Afton Apple. “Frank’s legacy was to set up the orchard for success for our children, and completing this solar project was a big part of that effort.”

The solar installation supports Afton Apple’s commitment to minimize the orchard’s carbon footprint while growing high-quality produce to keep the farm economically viable.

News item from All Energy Solar

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