Peace Fleece - Porter, Maine

Peace Fleece is a unique yarn company committed to helping historic enemies cooperate and prosper through trade. Peace Fleece offers knitting yarn made from a blend of Russian, Romanian, American, Israeli and Palestinian wools as well as felting supplies, batts for quilters. Also Russian handpainted knitting needles and wooden buttons, patterns, knitting, crochet and felting kits and batting and raw fleeces for hand spinners as well as Waldorf puzzles and toys made in Russia. The company’s energy efficient offices are located in a barn on a sheep and horse farm in the idyllic town of Porter, nestled in the foothills of southwestern Maine

Peter Hagerty and his wife, Martha Tracy, started buying wool from the Soviet Union back in 1985 with a goal of using mutually beneficial trade to help diffuse the threat of nuclear war. Since then they have journeyed through eastern Europe, central Asia and the Middle East in search of farmers and shepherds who are willing to set aside historic enmities in exchange for opportunities leading to mutual understanding and economic interdependence.

Their journey to solar energy began with an interest in another renewable resource – wood. For over ten years the farm’s major source of heat has been a Tarm gasifying wood boiler which our sister company ReVision Heat sells and services. On a visit to Peace Fleece in April, ReVision Energy co-founder Phil Coupe helped Peter and Martha assess solar electric options for their farm.

Thanks to a suite of strong rebates and more affordable solar electric prices, Peace Fleece decided to put a 4.2kw grid-tied solar electric array on their barn roof, which is oriented to ideal solar south. The system features Enphase micro-inverters, which provide real-time internet data monitoring that Peace Fleece has made available to the public:

Sample Enphase Data Monitoring

Peter writes of his experience with ReVision:

The great thing about living in the State of Maine is that everyone is connected one way or another. When the Revision crew arrived for the installation, the crew leader Josh and I quickly realized that we not only had several friends in common but also shared a committment to bio-fuels.

On that day I was having trouble with a bio-diesel engine that is pulled by our draft horses and powers our haying equipment. Josh described to me how a friend had run parallel fuel lines so when one filter clogged he could switch over to the other line and stay in business. I went back to my haying and Josh climbed back up on the roof to finish the installation.

The system is expected to produce roughly 4,400 killowatts of clean, renewable energy each year. This energy will offset 5,722 lbs. of CO2 emissions that otherwise would have been produced by fossil-fuel burning energy plants.