Clover Stornetta Farms in Petaluma, California, is setting itself apart from other sustainable dairy farms with the installation of a new solar cogeneration technology. The farm is the first dairy farm in the nation to use this technology, which generates electricity and hot water with a single system.
Solar cogeneration uses traditional photovoltaic solar panels and combines the panels with a thermal module to capture waste energy. The waste energy is then used to create hot water. According to Cogenra Solar, the manufacturer of the system in use at Clover, the return on investment for this technology is less than five years.