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SolarShare-Powered Mushrooms!

Sep 26, 2013



Mushrooms may not need sunshine to grow, but SolarShare’s new project is changing the rules. 

We're delighted to announce that Champion Mushroom Farm is now home to a 243 kW DC solar project and SolarShare is the proud new owner. 445 panels have been mounted on the rooftop of the commercial indoor mushroom-growing facility in Moose Creek. The total cost of the project was $1,851,000 and it is now generating revenue for the co-op, an approximate annual revenue of $190,000. 

SolarShare leases the rooftop from the family who owns Champion Mushrooms. Shu Lin and Maria Ma moved to Moose Creek and bought the farm in 2007. Shu had never grown mushrooms before, but he studied agriculture at Northeast Forest University in Harbin, China where he met his wife Maria. They both became professors there, Shu teaching finance and Maria teaching IT. We interviewed Shu and Maria just after the project went live (Maria provided translation):

SolarShare

Why did you decide to go solar?

Maria & Shu

We started thinking about it three years ago. The government had good programming available. We thought it would be a good additional revenue source for our business. Solar is a good, clean way to get electricity. It’s good income for us. 

SolarShare

How do you feel about it being a SolarShare/ community power project? 

Maria & Shu

It feels good so more and more people know about solar. Since we built it, a lot of people know us. “That's the building with solar!” they say all the time. We think it’s great for business and good for more people to know about. 

SolarShare 

Can you tell us about the type of mushrooms you grow? 

Maria & Shu

We grow oyster mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are very popular in Chinese and Thai cooking. We sell 1,500 lbs [some arguing] 2,000 lbs of mushrooms a week. We mostly sell to restaurants and grocery stores in Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa. 

SolarShare

What do you love most about mushroom-farming? 

Maria & Shu

I like that they can constantly be improved. Since we took over the business, we’ve grown and improved a lot. Every year, the mushrooms taste better and improve in quality. Eventually we want to expand and grow shitake and king oyster mushrooms.  

 

Stay tuned for Shu and Maria’s favourite mushroom recipe. Maria insists that Shu is a fantastic cook and his deep fried mushrooms are a smash hit at every party! 

You too can join Maria and Shu by going solar and investing in SolarShare bonds. Your investment will finance Champion Mushroom and other similar projects.  Click here to become a member and invest. 

Solar-powered mushrooms anyone? Yes please!