KC Bailey Orchards


S-5! is regarded as one of the world's leading providers of attachment solutions for the direct mounting of solar panel arrays to metal roofs. Joining the company's ever-growing portfolio of successful installations is KC Bailey Orchards in upstate New York. On that project, the company's S-5-PVKIT®2.0 solar attachment solution and S-5-S Mini clamps were used to secure solar panels to five new apple storage buildings. Panels were added to four existing older buildings as well, but conditions dictated those panels be mounted using the more traditional rail system.

The Project

In 1984, as a senior at Cornell University studying pomology (fruit science) and economics, Chip Bailey founded KC Bailey Orchards, a now 230-acre apple orchard in upstate New York. A first-generation farmer, Chip was always interested in orchards growing up in Wayne County, New York, the largest apple-producing county east of the Mississippi. His extended family had vineyards in the Finger Lakes region, and he worked on local farms as a teenager, driving his desire to someday acquire his own farm. Chip met Karla who at the time was running an apple slicing business and distributorship.  Karla had studied Finance and Systems at the University of Buffalo and also had a desire to own her own farm. 

Chip and Karla are environmentally-conscious people who understand the potential for generating renewable energy on their farm and have integrated a holistic approach to growing their 10+ varieties of apples.

The Challenge

The Baileys' goal is to integrate a vertically holistic approach to sustainable fruit growing and operating their orchard utilizing sustainable materials and renewable energy sources, thereby reducing their carbon footprint and working towards their goal of running a net-zero farm.

Their approach begins with sustainable fruit growing techniques from preparing the land to growing their own apple trees in an on-site nursery. They even cultivate a pollinator habitat and grow native plants for nine species of native bees to provide cross-pollination for the apple trees, in addition to a locust post grove for trellising.

Because the Baileys select apple varieties and plant trees based on predicting consumer demands 20 years out, they require buildings that utilize sustainable building components and an energy-efficient power generation system to run the farm.

The Solution

The Baileys have nine metal buildings on the orchard property provide, which predominantly provide cold storage for the apples after harvest, immediately prior to distribution. Five are new. They are clad with Ameri-Cana metal siding from Ideal Roofing and metal roofing from Fabral®. The Baileys chose to use metal building components not only for their lasting performance and durability but also because of their reflective properties. A lower temperature inside the buildings enhances enhances their cold-storage functionality. They also chose to “go-solar” to supplement the farm’s power generation, in an effort to achieve their goal of operating a net-zero farm.

A standing seam roof was selected to allow direct-attach of the solar panels to the seams or ribs of the roof, preserving the PV assembly’s longevity by providing a penetration-free system.  The PVKIT mounting system was chosen to secure the solar panels to the metal roof because it provides a rail-less, aesthetically-pleasing, penetration-free, and cost-effective solar mounting solution.

Another added benefit of the solar is that is creates a shaded air space between the solar panels and the metal roof, lowering the surface temperature on the roof and lessening the refrigeration load because the exterior structure is cool, thus creating a more energy-efficient building. Together, the solar PV and the metal building components provide the sustainability the Baileys hoped to achieve.

Long-Term Outlook

The PV system allows the Baileys to realize their long-term sustainability goals and reduce operating costs – getting them closer to their goal of running a net-zero farm.

Project Team

Owners: Chip and Karla Bailey
Architect: Secor Engineering
General Contractor: Secor Building Solutions
PV Contractor: LTHS Solar
Electrical Contractor: Lauterborn Electric; Bleier Electric, Inc.

Project Stats

Project Size: Nine solar PV systems―total system size, 294.055 kW; 1,083 panels installed
Inverters: Fronius
Roof Profile: Fabral 1 ½” SSR Series; Fabral Grandrib 3
Roofs Measured: approximately 42,000 sq. ft.
Roof Pitch:  6/12; 4/12
S-5! Products Supplied (for 5 of 9 systems):

· S-5-PVKIT ®2.0 (1,900)
· S-5-S Mini clamp (1,900)

About S-5!®


Founded by a veteran metal roof expert, S-5! has been the leading authority on metal roof attachment solutions since 1992. S-5!’s lifetime zero-penetration clamps and brackets attach ancillary items to standing seam and exposed-fastened metal roofs respectively, while maintaining roof integrity and warranties. Made in the U.S.A., S-5! solutions are engineered for a variety of roof-mounted applications and are now installed on more than 2.5 million metal roofs in 70+ countries worldwide, providing strength and longevity never before seen. For more information, visit

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