Waxwing Farm is an organic vegetable farm established in 2008. It is a family farm located in Windermere, Nova Scotia, owned by David and Kim Hastings. The farm is off-grid and has cold storage, a greenhouse, photovoltaic panels, a solar water heating system and a solar dehydrator system.

Solar Powered Cold Storage and Coolbot

Installed an air conditioner controlled by a coolbot to run an off-grid cold storage to improve shelf life of produce. There was an existing photovoltaic (PV) system that was upgraded for this project.

Project cost: $800 for coolbot and air conditioner, $5600 for solar panels, charge controller, battery upgrade
Incentive: Energy Pilot Program
Results: Works well for summer cooling, may need to add more panels for the fall

Solar Food Dehydrator

Installed a solar air panel (Cansolair) to dry produce to extend the season, create value added products and reduce waste.
Project cost: $4550 for panel and installation
Incentive:  Energy Pilot Program
Results:  Hot peppers and herbs work well. Consider using the panel for winter space heating and/or squash storage in addition to summer drying applications.

There may be other incentives for solar projects or for controllers that decrease energy use. Efficiency NS has a $500 incentive for solar air under the Residential Solar Water and Air Heating Program. Home Grown Success Programming administered through the NS Department of Agriculture may also apply.

Click here for Presentation made at 2012 ACORN Conference by David Hastings