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Grant Will Pay for Photovoltaic System on Bass Farm

US - Four Star Farms has been awarded a $160,409 federal grant to purchase and install a photovoltaic system to supply 93 percent of the farm's electricity.

The Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Agency, according to Rep. John W. Olver, D-Mass.

The 300-acre farm, which began growing sod 21 years ago on what had once been home to the state's largest dairy herd, is developing a fish farming business designed to sell largemouth bass for the state's recreational fishing industry, reports the Recorder.

According to the news agency, the 82-kilowatt solar energy system, which will cost about $641,000, will help provide the farm with electricity to heat fish ponds and light and cool the aquaculture facilities, said farmer Bonnie L'Etoile.

The farm has also received $225,000 from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, she said.

"We're going through many hurdles and we're hoping to have it done by the end of the year," said L'Etoile. "Right now, Congress has not renewed the Energy Bill, so all the tax credits end Dec. 31. So our goal is to have it all installed, up and running before the end of the year."

Ellen Hardy

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