Buffalo, NY -- Natural energy is all around and a farm in Appleton is powered by it. "We decided to take an existing barn that was built in the 1840s and restore it," Tom Szulust, the co-owner of Singer Farm Naturals, said. Tom owns the farm with his wife Vivian and they are a big supporter of renewable energy.
The farm is located near Lake Ontario and takes advantage of the natural wind energy with a 120 foot turbine. "It gives me a reason to smile on a windy cold winter day here, because it really does blow hard here."
Straw bale is in the walls which is a very good insulator, and an indoor wood boiler provides heat. Renewable energy powers nearly 80% of the farm. Solar panels and the wind turbine are main contributors.
The solar panels and solar thermal collectors provide electricity and thermal energy which gives heat and hot water. "Uses the sun's energy to produce all of our domestic hot water and on a cold day when it's sunny we can use it to heat the building," Szulust said.
Tom gets updates on his cell phone real time on how much energy is being provided and any surplus energy is stored. Tom says setting up the farm to use natural energy wasn't as hard or expensive as many would think. "By the time you figure in depreciation and tax credits the cost was under 20 thousand dollars... the energy provided between all of our systems including the boiler is well in access of 10 thousand dollars a year," Szulust said.