Sustainability is a word that gets used a lot these days. In our view, to be truly sustainable, we had to plan from the very beginning to try and keep the farm as energy neutral as possible. Dairies and creameries use prodigious amounts of energy; we run pumps, coolers, vats, refrigerators, cheese caves and all sorts of other equipment. We also use quite a bit of hot water to clean up every day. With this in mind we installed solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels on the roofs of all five of the barns we have here, a 115kW system that generates more than half the electricity we consume in the summer ( not so much in the winter). Additionally, we put 480 square feet of solar thermal panels on the roof of our dairy barn and they provide us with about sixty percent of the hot water we use year round. For us, investing in renewable energy is another way to ensure that the farm has a positive impact on the environment and remains economically viable for years to come.