Riverside Maple Farms Flips the Switch on Solar Power
National Grid Awarded Farm with Grant to Provide Sustainable Power; Just in time for Earth Day!
(Glenville, N.Y.) – Riverside Maple Farms ceremoniously flipped the switch to turn on their solar panels to help utilize renewable, clean energy for their farm’s operations, making them one of the only maple farms in the United States to make the switch to solar. Just in time for Earth Day, and in partnership with Kasselman Solar, and through grants from National Grid and the USDA, Riverside Maple will provide 100% of their electrical power from renewable sources.
The 140 solar panels will generate the carbon equivalent of saving 50 acres of US forests per year and help sustain the farms most important natural resource, their trees. The panels will generate 60 Megawatts of power which will allow the farm to make the maple syrup, run the kitchen, and keep the lights on for visitors to see how maple is made from tree to table.
“Trees are at the heart of our business. We want to ensure our tree farm will be here for future generations,” said Erica Welch, Owner, Riverside Maple Farms. “Solar powered panels allow us to be responsible stewards for Schenectady County and continue to grow our business.”
“It’s our pleasure to support and help Riverside Maple Farms grow using renewable clean solar energy,” said Steve Kasselman, CEO, Kasselman Solar. “The solar array installed on the grounds of Riverside Maple Farms will power their operations and promote a culture of sustainability while lowering their utility costs. Congratulations to Riverside Maple Farms for their commitment to the environment and community!”
“My congratulations to Chris and Erica for today’s accomplishment at Riverside Maple Farms, working with USDA and NYSERDA to ‘flip the switch’ and help lead the way in our transition to a clean energy future in New York and across the country,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY 20th District). “This solar project will not only benefit Riverside Maple but the surrounding community as well, making them a valued partner and an example for others to follow. New York State is a top 10 market for solar energy today and is poised to be one of the biggest growth markets in the nation over the next five years, thanks to smart policies and the work of committed, visionary people like Erica and Chris.”
“It was very appropriate to celebrate Riverside Maple Farm’s transition to renewable energy on Earth Day. This is an incredible next step for an already innovative farm,” said Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I-Ballston). “Riverside Maple Farms takes the old-fashioned “sugar shack” and turns it on its head, with state-of-the-art equipment, maple tours, and special events. We are so fortunate to have Riverside Maple Farm in the 112th Assembly District, and I wish nothing but the best for the Welch family as their business continues to grow and flourish.”
“This is a great day for the 49th Senate District, a great day for the Maple Industry, and a great day for Agriculture as a whole,” said Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C-49th Senate District). “The model developed here by Riverside is truly commendable and I offer them praise and congratulations for what they’ve done. Riverside has been able to build a sustainable business with many folks stopping by enjoying their facility and the products they have to offer, and now they have built a partnership to benefit from renewable, clean solar energy.”
“I am proud that Riverside Maple Farm is leading the way on using sustainable energy sources and lessening their impact on the environment,” said Supervisor Chris Koetzle. “We, at the town, are also pursuing our options to build a community solar project and we share Riverside Maple Farm’s responsible approach to all of us doing our part to help create a cleaner environment for the future.”
Welch continues, “These panels would not have been possible without NYSERDA, National Grid, Kasselman Solar, the Town of Glenville, Schenectady Metroplex, Discover Schenectady, Farm Credit East, the Center for Economic Growth, and USDA REAP. We are so proud to be part of the growing economy of Schenectady County and can’t wait to see what the future brings.”
Riverside Maple Farms is a family-run maple farm started by Chris and Erica Welch. Riverside Maple Farms has grown from a family hobby to a business, having opened a production facility and visitor space in the fall of 2017. Open year-round, the farm offers free tours of the farm and production facility demonstrating how maple is made from tree to table. All tours include a tasting of the four different grades of maple syrup and a visit to the retail space.