Gone solar

| 06 Mar 2012 | 03:37

It started with Andy Mulvihill. Dirt heard he was planning to start a 100-acre solar farm, so we called him. He confirmed. By the way, he said, Heaven Hill Farm is doing a field, and the PAL did one. Heaven Hill’s Martin Theobald said yes, he’s about to go before the town land use board for permission to install a ground mount, and by the way, there’s solar on the roof of the flower shop next to Highland Bank. And just like that, they started coming out of the woodwork. Dirt invited ten people to our “who’s who in local solar” photo shoot. Fifteen showed up, and at the shoot we learned of a handful more who should have been there. It looks like solar has arrived.

Why are we going solar? I know it’s the right thing from an environmental standpoint, but I don’t know from a financial standpoint. The verdict is not in yet… Sometimes I just do things out of impulsiveness. – Steve Pennings, Pennings Farm, Warwick

Steve Pennings at his Warwick farm

Because it’s the green thing. I wanted to do it just to save energy. It could be profitable and it might not be profitable. – Martin Theobald, Heaven Hill Farm, Vernon

The environment was our primary incentive. It’s an average 12-year payback, we’re not going to make a killing here. Plus, it’s very timely now with all this nonsense going on the Middle East. Here we are being held financially hostage because we can’t get off of oil. – Glenn Maerz, homeowner, Goshen

I’m worried about the planet, about our grandchildren. I’ve been worried since the 1970s. – Bill Makofske, homeowner, Warwick

We recognize what makes this area so spectacular. It doesn’t start with the amenities we’ve built. It starts with how beautiful it is. That’s why people come up here. It would be our goal to go completely solar, be completely green – we haven’t quite figured that out. Since we’ve acquired Mountain Creek, we want to be good stewards of the environment. – Andy Mulvihill, Crystal Springs Resort, Vernon

Most of my customers are average people who are tired of being so vulnerable to their utility company. – Buddy Damiani, Damiani & Sun, Monroe

Warwick is a little bit more of a hot spot in the county now. Anywhere that’s kind of rural is a good spot, because when the roofs don’t work we can do ground mounts. There’s a lot of farmland. – Chris Bernardino, 2K Solar, Middletown

You’re creating energy independence, every time you make a house more efficient. We’re importing fuel from countries that are using the money to fight us. – Patrick Gallagher, Gallagher Solar Thermal, Warwick