Groove Management has had the privilege of working O2energies and O2/EMC for the past several years. O2 is an independent power producer that builds and operates commercial grade solar farms throughout the state of North Carolina. While we have worked with the leadership team on strategy, organizational development and planning, we had never visited one of their sites until recently.
We got a chance to tour their Montgomery County Solar Farm in Biscoe, NC. This was an impressive property of over 200 acres. The property would be an outstanding location for a corporate team offsite and I hope to take other clients to this unique venue for a retreat in the near future.
One of the challenges facing commercial grade solar installations is grounds maintenance. The grass under the panels needs to be mowed often. According to CEO, Joel Olsen, in the summer months grass can grow as much as four inches in a day. The heavy equipment required to maintain the grounds is expensive, polluting and can damage the solar panels. Joel and his business partner wife Tonje Olsen started a second business that focuses on ground maintenance. Sun Raised Farms raises sheep on the solar farms that O2 operates. The sheep take care of the majority of ground maintenance and turn the solar farm back into a working animal farm. The synergy between harvesting the sun for energy and the sheep for food is a unique solution employed by the Olsens. The sheep are sold to many local farm to table style restaurants and they make amazing lamb salami from the sheep as well.
So many companies struggle with under-leveraged resources and O2/EMC and Sun Raised Farms have figured out a very effective and profitable way to leverage their resources.