Solar panels help French winemaker keep climate change at bay
A roof of solar panels shades Pierre Escudie as he inspects the last plump grapes to be harvested at his vineyard in southwest France, after a year of hard frosts and blistering heat that damaged many of his neighbors’ crops.
The solar panels insulate the grapes during periods of extreme cold and shield them from the sun’s harsh rays during heat waves. The panels also rotate to allow more light to hit the vines on more overcast days…
The Inflation Reduction Act is a game changer for nonprofits seeking solar + storage
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has been signed into law. While the IRA is one of compromise, some good and some not-so-good, its impact on the energy sector is significant. For Clean Energy Group’s Resilient Power Project and its partners, the IRA will significantly influence nonprofits seeking to develop solar PV and battery storage (solar+storage) solutions in low-income communities by removing barriers to accessing significant federal tax incentives.
Sweet return: German farmer gets both solar power and apples
Many of the apple trees growing beneath solar panels have been producing bountiful electricity during this year’s unusually sun-rich summer, while providing the fruit below with much-needed shade.
“The idea is simple,” said Nachtwey, whose farm lies in Gelsdorf, an hour’s drive south of Cologne. “To protect the orchard, without reducing the available growing surface and in particular maintaining production. On top of that there’s the solar electricity being generated on the same land.”
Large-scale solar installations on arable land are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and North America, as farmers seek to make the most of their land and establish a second source of revenue.
Bees, sheep, crops: solar developers tout multiple benefits
Silflower was among native plants that blanketed the vast North American prairie until settlers developed farms and cities. Nowadays confined largely to roadsides and ditches, the long-stemmed cousin of the sunflower may be poised for a comeback, thanks to solar energy.
Researchers are growing silflower at nine solar installations in the Minneapolis area, testing its potential as an oilseed crop. The deep-rooted perennial also offers forage for livestock and desperately needed habitat for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.
Agrivoltaic solar tracker uses cables instead of buried steel
The Suntracker system is suspended by cables, rather than mounted on steel driven into the ground, providing what the company says is the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for high-clearance solar. Rute reports that by using cables rather than steel foundations, steel use is reduced by as much as 30%.
Another advantage of the cable system is that the land does not have to be disturbed in order to install the system, which is a benefit in the agricultural industry. It also enables the land to be returned to its original condition in the event that the solar installation were to be removed…
Massachusetts Clean Energy Act eases path for agrivoltaic projects
The Act clarifies that an agrivoltaic project is to be treated as an agricultural use, meaning that the land can continue to be classified as agricultural land for property tax purposes and that the project is exempt from special permit requirements.
This change in law further illustrates the legislature’s intent to help farmers continue their farming operations by utilizing renewable energy, and particularly solar energy, as a means of maintaining their land in agricultural use.
Solar energy and its place on the land
In a world beset with climate change and its attendant fires and floods, the need for solar energy is immense — vital if the world is to quit burning fossil fuels, the primary cause of the climate crisis…
The trick, for those of us in the business of land conservation, is to make a contribution to that effort without compromising our missions of protecting biodiversity and working lands that produce the food we need. There’s a growing body of research and practical application that offers hope that this can happen using agrivoltaics, the practice of combining agriculture and solar energy collection — a dual use of the land…
Solar, haying, and owning the solar array
Converting arable land to energy production undermines the future of farming. But innovators like Nate know it doesn’t have to be one or the other – if done right, solar can be leveraged to support farmers, rather than threaten them.
Seeing the Massachusetts SMART program as an opportunity for revenue diversification and farmland preservation, Nate pioneered a plan to own both the solar system and the land underneath. Million Little Sunbeams does not involve a lease to a solar developer but instead was designed to allow the Tassinari family to sell the excess energy to the surrounding community — a win for the family farm that has allowed it to stay in operation…
Iberdrola starts up Spain’s first smart agrovoltaic plant in Toledo
While combining solar energy and agricultural land is not new, one component that makes the Winesolar project stand out is that it will have a tracking system, with trackers from PVH, that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the most efficient solar panel positioning over the vines at any time…
Spanish vineyards use solar panels to protect wine grapes
While combining solar energy and agricultural land is not new, one component that makes the Winesolar project stand out is that it will have a tracking system, with trackers from PVH, that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the most efficient solar panel positioning over the vines at any time, according to Iberdrola. Techedge, an IT firm, will help the solar panel project further the wineries’ agricultural goals.
Sensors in the vineyards will record data including soil humidity, wind conditions, solar radiation, and even vine thickness to find the optimal position for the solar panels, giving the vines a fighting chance against the effects of climate change…