Farmland preservationists, solar developers to build green energy arrays
An estimated 750,000 acres of farmland in the U.S. is lost each year and “solar development if done right could potentially help” save some of that farmland, said John Piotti, president and CEO of American Farmland Trust, a nonprofit organization that works to keep farmland in production.
Earlier this week, Piotti said during a webcast meeting that his group would work with two private firms, Edelen Renewables and Arcadia Solar to develop “agrivoltaic” community solar farms in a number of states including New York…
Solar workshop series
While this workshop is over, you can get a sense of what they are helping to amplify. The following is from their announcement:
Solar workshop series comes to southern Maryland: If you’re interested in using solar electricity to power your home, farm, or business, then please join an upcoming session of the University of Maryland’s “Solar Workshop Series.”
Agrivoltaics looks at farming around/among solar panels
Double cropping solar power and organic dairy production works successfully here, but the concept – called agrivoltaics – is still very new.
Agrivoltaics is a new umbrella term defined as any farming practices on the land supporting solar power.
Around the world, innovators are looking for ways that solar panels and agriculture can benefit from the other. Flowers, pollinator plants, alfalfa, grass, vegetables and greens, and fruits and berries are some of the potential crops that people are planting in conjunction with solar panels…
How installing solar canopies over canals can help California fight drought
A first-in-the-nation project to determine whether covering sections of canals with solar panels can help California reach its renewable energy goals is gearing up to break ground early next year…
Researchers from the University of California, Merced determined that covering the 4,000 miles of California’s open canals with solar panels could save upward of 63 billion gallons of water each year, the residential water needs of about 2 million people, or enough to irrigate about 50,000 acres of farmland…
Agrivoltaics looks at farming around and among solar panels
If you are driving to the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC), look along U.S. Highway 59 for large pastures where cows graze among solar panels.
The cows, under the direction of Bradley Heins, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, use the panels for shade and shelter.
Double cropping solar power and organic dairy production works successfully here, but the concept — called agrivoltaics — is still very new…
Coastal Rivers takes leap towards carbon neutrality with solar array
For those who braved mud or ice to stroll the slopes at Round Top Farm this winter, they may have spotted something shiny and new in the southwest field behind Darrows Barn.
As of Jan. 3, contractors with ReVision Energy completely installed eight rows of solar panels on a one-acre parcel at the farm and are in the process of finishing the wiring on the array. ReVision broke ground on the project in the fall.
Hannah McGhee, Coastal Rivers outreach and communications manager, said the location for the panels was selected for the minimal impact it would have on the visual landscape at Round Top for the public and abutters.
Solar sharing for both food and clean energy production
Research on the performance of agrivoltaic systems for corn, a typical shade-intolerant crop.
This article concerns research conducted at a 100-m2 experimental farm with three sub-configurations: no modules (control), low module density, and high module density. In each configuration, 9 stalks/m2 were planted 0.5 m apart. The biomass of corn stover grown in the low-density configuration was larger than that of the control configuration by 4.9%. Also, the corn yield per square meter of the low-density configuration was larger than that of the control by 5.6%.
The future of farming?
Large solar arrays have begun to line the Wallkill Valley landscape. Solar farms are springing to life where agriculture — and in one case a miniature golf course — once ruled the land.
But what if a farmer wanted to continue to grow crops on a farm and was able to plant and grow them underneath solar panels that alternately allowed for shade and sunlight for the crops? What if the farmer could lease space to the provider of solar energy and earn additional income while continuing to operate the farm?
This concept, known as agrivoltaics, is catching on. It could soon come to the Town of Montgomery, provided a change in the town’s solar laws is approved…
Sustainable farm agrivoltaic project
Solar panels can be positioned to allow plants just the right amount of sunlight, and then the excess sunlight can be harvested for electricity — and produce more than they would without crops below them.
That’s right. Plants help keep the solar panels cool, which makes them more productive. Our studies have shown that panels positioned above plants produce up to 10% more electricity.
Agrivoltaics is a symbiotic relationship where both the solar panels and the crops benefit because they help each other perform better.
Farming collaborative plan looks to keep land accessible, open
Under the land collaborative model, the property will not solely be devoted to agriculture; Sanford-Long’s animals will share land with a planned solar array…