US organic farming co-op to partner on community solar

The largest organic farming co-operative in the US is set to collaborate with a community energy group on a solar power partnership.

The Organic Valley Cooperative, based in the state of Wisconsin, will partner with the Upper Midwest Municipal Energy Group and project developer OneEnergy Renewables to develop 12 MW of solar PV capacity in the state.

The power generated will enable Organic Valley to cover 100 per cent of its energy needs with renewables by 2019. It is also expected to increase Wisconsin’s solar power use by 15 per cent.

According to OneEnergy Renewables, the solar installations will be designed using ‘pollinator-friendly’ solar standards, meaning they will be planted with flowers and grasses to encourage bees and butterflies.

A further 17 MW of solar power is planned for future construction.

Organic Valley CEO George Siemon said: “Our future demands bold new thinking about our sources of energy, and there is nothing more natural to a farmer than harnessing the power of the sun and the wind.

“So our cooperative is committed to achieving 100 per cent renewable power, and doing it in partnership with the rural communities where we live and work.”

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