Cross Island Farms Owner Harnesses Wind Power
Wellesley Island Agriculture Incorporates Alternative Energy To Help Power Production
Wellesley Island, NY
- Dani Baker and David Belding of Cross Island Farms have a new addition to their farm that doesn’t require feeding or water - all it really needs is a steady flow of good old-fashioned wind. Alternative Power Solutions of Northern New York is finishing up installation of a 10kW Bergey wind turbine on the property that will be seated on a 120 foot self-standing tower.
“When I was in the southwest I saw windmills everywhere. They were such a nice addition to the rural landscape. When we decided to start Cross Island Farms we began investigating alternative power sources.” explained Baker.
Baker and her partner David Belding met with The Orleans Board of Appeals and they were able to approve the project. “The planning board was extremely impressed with the presentation by Alternative Power Solutions. I think they were in awe of the expertise of the (APS) staff.” The planning board voted unanimously to grant the permit to build the turbine.
The Orleans Board of Appeals, however, wasn’t the only supporter of the project, according to Baker. “The community has been great, overall. We received written support from Thousand Island Land Trust and Indian River Lakes Conservancy in support of small wind and renewable energy. We also received a letter from The Jefferson County Agricultural Development Corporation.” she said.
The installation of the turbine’s 120 foot tower began on June 24th with the turbine being raised sometime this week, weather permitting. “It’s a really exciting time for us.” said Baker.
Cross Island Farms received grants from both the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will help pay for a large portion of the installation.
“This wind turbine is in an ideal location so close to the St. Lawrence River.” said Owen Pugh, owner of Alternative Power Solutions. “We estimate that it will supply the farm with hefty savings on their energy bill. It’s great to see more farmers taking advantage of alternative energy.”
Following the windmill’s completion there are plans for additional forms of alternative power to be put into production on the farm including a solar-power array and a propane generator that can keep the farm running at 100% during power outages. All of the projects are scheduled to be completed with Alternative Power Solutions.
Cross Island Farms not only wants to provide fresh, organic locally grown produce - they also want to encourage educational institutions and tour groups to use their farm as a means of education. “To me this windmill is going to enhance the attractiveness of the farm to tourists. It’s on the cutting edge of technology and it is helping us to become financially solvent.” said Baker.
Operating a farm with free-range animals can sometimes present cautions when installing large systems. Alternative Power Solutions opted to keep all of the large cement blocks underground and allow the tower to be free-standing. “David may build a small fence around the tower to prevent the animals from rubbing up against it - but I love the fact that it;s all underground. The only visible part is the lattice work. Removing the need for guide wires is also important for the safety of our animals.” commented Baker.About Cross Island Farms
Cross Island Farms is a 102 acre farmstead that was started in 2005 by Dani Baker and David Belding. They offer certified organic vegetables, pork, goat, beef, eggs as well as primitive camping and tours of their farm. In addition visitors are always welcome at the farm. Cross Island Farms offers its certified organic gourmet vegetables for sale at its self-service roadside stand. Contact Cross Island Farms at 315-482-3663 or visit them online at www.crossislandfarms.com.About Alternative Power Solutions of New York
Alternative Power Solutions has been supplying New York residential and commercial customers with solar and wind energy alternatives since 2008. The company was created by Owen Pugh of Brewerton, NY. For more information or to schedule a free evaluation, contact APS at 315.314.6930. You can also visit their web site at www.apsofny.com.