Cold Hollow Cider Mill is squeezing some new juice out of its Waterbury location.
The company, long known for its fresh squeezed cider, is now drawing electricity from 26 Solar Trackers out back. The panels provide about 200 kilowatts of power-- enough to meet about half of its energy needs to run the cider mill and visitor center. Cold Hollow's owner says the panels will provide a lot more than power for visitors.
"We're calling this our solar orchard, here at Cold Hollow. And what we're doing is harvesting the power of the sun and we're going to let people walk amongst the orchard and maybe do some pick your own solar as well," said Paul Brown of Cold Hollow Cider Mill. "We'll have some interpretive signage, we'll have a bridge, we'll keep it mowed nice so people can... We're hoping it's going to be a real added attraction to all the other things we do here at the mill."
The panels, like many others that have sprouted up in the area in recent months, are part of a power purchase agreement with a private company. Brown says it operates similar to a lease, where they get a discount on power for playing host and have an option to buy after six years.