Our family’s stewardship in Guilford started in 1639 when John Bishop was one of the co-signers of the Guilford Covenant. In 1871 the fist parcel of land which is a portion of our existing farm was purchased, and on 1.1 acres of this is 1 of our 2 solar arrays, having 1108 Panels in 17 rows. The second array is on the roof of our Farm Market, having 381 panels. The combined systems are 477 kW DC (366 kW DC) and are expected to produce 596,700 kWh per year, which is approximately 80% of the farm’s annual electric usage.
The site selected for our ground system is a hillside with shallow soils and rock ledge that is not suitable for crops. Part of our conscientious stewardship was to not use any agriculturally viable land for our “Solar Field” and adhere to our Bishop’s Orchards Vision: Preserve and enhance the value of the land for current and future generations and provide exceptional products and services to our customers that emphasize “family, food, and recreation.” The project was made possible by the combination of following solar incentives: CT’s Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit Program, Virtual Net Metering, Federal Tax Credits and USDA REAP Grant. View our 1 page Solar Project Fact Sheet hereBishop’s Orchards Solar Project Fact Sheet here.
For the current status and output of our systems click here.
USDA Video – Bishop’s Orchards: Right Size, Right Place Solar
For more photos of the system and construction progress, click here.
For additional links about our solar system, our partners and where you can learn more about renewable energy, click here.
To check out our feature in the Guilford Courier, click here.
This is the first non residential ground mount solar array in Guilford, and the largest in Guilford CT. Under CT Dept of Energy & Environmental Protection – Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (DEEP –PURA) regulations for Agricultural Virtual Net Metering (VNM), the power produced by our ground array goes into the Eversource grid and credit for that power is applied against our usage at the Farm Market, Cold Storage and processing facility. If not for the VNM program established by the CT Legislature in 2013 this project would not be possible.
We are proud to enhance our stewardship and ‘greenness’ of our family’s legacy here in Guilford. The ongoing benefits of this solar investment will assist us to sustain and operate a viable farm operation (now run by the 5th and 6th generations) to keep 313 acres of land in our family for generations to come.