5 Spoke Creamery: Solar Powered Cheese

Alan Glustoff is 100% NY, combining a passion for artisanal cheese with a commitment to run a clean and sustainable business using solar energy to power 5 Spoke Creamery, the farm and cheesemaking operations in Goshen, NY that he runs with his wife Barbara.

Energize NY,™ a not-for-profit local development corporation, provided the Glustoffs with the financing and support they needed to make their solar vision a reality. Energize NY is one of over 40 programs under New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) campaign that is working to bring clean, resilient and affordable energy to all New Yorkers.

Alan Glustoff started 5 Spoke Creamery to pursue his passion for cave-aged raw milk cheeses. The Glustoffs purchased an old dairy farm in Goshen NY and brought it back to life, renovating the barn and milk house and building a European style aging cellar and cheesemaking rooms.

The Glustoffs also have a passion for sustainability. They wanted to make their farm more sustainable and economical by using solar energy to power their dairy and cheesemaking equipment. They knew that going solar would save them money, but the upfront cost to installing the full solar system was a barrier.

While visiting the local planning department in Orange County, Alan Glustoff learned about Energize NY and its affordable and accessible Energize NY Finance Program. Barrier busted. Energize NY financed the Glustoffs 53 Kw ground mounted solar panels with a loan that is repaid through an annual charge on the farm’s property tax bill. The annual cost of the loan is less than the Glustoffs’ annual savings in electricity costs every year. This type of financing is known as a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan. Energize NY is New York State’s PACE Finance program.

The new solar panels supply more than 100% of the farm’s electricity needs, allowing the Glustoffs to use their savings to expand their operations and do what they do best –make delicious cheese. The Glustoffs started saving money and electricity on day one, and the farm is now more profitable thanks to the new solar system.

That’s what Energize NY does – we help break down the barriers to energy saving solutions for building owners in NY State, from efficiency measures like new boilers and insulation to renewable energy sources like solar. Sometimes a lack of knowledge of available programs and energy saving solutions is the barrier, other times it may be access to qualified contractors or, as in the case of the Glustoffs, the barrier may be access to affordable financing. Energize NY works with its member communities, like Orange County, to help building owners unlock the energy savings in their buildings, saving money, fuel and greenhouse gas emissions.

I’m ready to give my 100% to make a 100% clean energy future a reality.