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Friday Feature: Agrivoltaics – Farming Under Solar Panels

By Doug Mayo

This week’s featured video was published by Matt Ferrell to talk about Agrivoltaics.  I have had several people ask me about the concept of farming or grazing under solar panels.  With the push to seek alternative energy sources, solar farms are buying up farm land.  Agrivoltaics is the combination of the two, so the land is not lost for food production.  There are benefits to partial shade for crop production, such as lower irrigation requirements.  The trick is to find the right mix to have both productive crop production and also adequate solar energy production.  There are research projects in Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon to evaluate this opportunity that is already being utilized to some extent in Europe.  I can only imagine that Agrivoltaics has a high initial investment requirement, but I do like the concept of keeping farm land in production and also adding income for farmers.  Watch the video to gain an understanding of this new concept.  There are more videos on this subject highlighting some ongoing research on this subject, such as these from Colorado State University and the University of Arizona.

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