Cheers! Solar Farm Cider Powers Up

©. Fresh Energy

Buying products from solar farms is just one more way to support clean energy.

Remember that "solar apiary"? The innovative combination of solar farm plus wildflower plantings plus beekeeping plus marketing direct to consumers was a neat way to communicate one of the powerful benefits of clean energy—namely, that safe, clean energy production can coexist with, and sometimes even enhance, food production.

Now Fresh Energy, the non-profit group which helped make that initiative happen, has also been helping to launch another value-added byproduct of solar farm development. Milk & Honey Ciders in St. Joseph, Minnesota, has just released “Solar Sweet Farm Cider”—a combination of Golden Russet & Kingston Black Apples infused with honey produced from beehives on the solar apiary right next door. The beehives are managed by Bare Honey, on a solar farm developed by IPS Solar—a company which insists on installing abundant pollinator habitats on all of the solar farms that it develops.

It's all a very cool story. Having followed the push for bird and bee friendly solar and wind for years, it's encouraging now to see ways that consumers can get directly involved in supporting such moves. For us solar energy advocates, it also provides a neat way to encapsulate one of the competitive advantages of renewables over fossil fuels. Call me crazy, but I can't imagine anyone marketing a cider that's made from honey produced right next to a fracking well...