March 20, 2017
Goranson Farm, a certified organic farm in Dresden, Maine, has been in the Goranson family for three generations. Jan Goranson and her husband Rob Johanson began operating the farm in 1986 and purchased it from Jan’s mother in 2000. In the past decade, Jan and Rob have diversified revenue streams by widening product offerings, marketing products directly to consumers, and building community and market share. Today, the farm boasts 275 summer CSA members and 130 winter members, and products ranging from farm raised meats, specialty potatoes, maple syrup and everything in between.
In keeping with their innovative approach, Jan and Rob looked to increase operating efficiencies through reduction of energy costs.
“It’s all about making the farm survive from one generation to the next.”
–Rob Johanson, co-owner, Goranson Farm
Through the combination of a REAP grant and financing from CEI, Goranson Farm installed a solar array of four Allearth ground-mounted solar trackers that will offset nearly 90% of the farm’s considerable electric bill. Once CEI’s loan is paid off, what was once a significant operating expense for the farm will become revenue stream. In the meantime, the loan payments are comparable to prior electric bills.
“This is the best farmland in the state,” said Rob. “It’s fertile floodplain and productive for farming. This solar array gets us one step closer to ensuring long term sustainability and viability.”
The following video was shot and edited by Sam Marjerison, a sophomore at Yarmouth High School, who owns and operates the student-run media company Dirigo Media.