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Agrivoltaic Research_082822A
[Agrivoltaic Research - NREL]


- Overview

Agrivoltaics, also known as agriPV, agrisolar, or dual-use solar, is a technique that combines solar energy production with agricultural activities on the same land. Solar panels are installed on platforms above crops, allowing farmers to continue their agricultural activities. 

Agrivoltaics can provide farmers with additional revenue streams and allow them to offset their own energy use on the farm. The solar panels can also help local ecosystems by providing shade during the day, while crops and livestock can help keep the panels running more efficiently. 

Some benefits of agrivoltaics include:

  • Sustainability: Solar panels can help local ecosystems by providing shade during the day
  • Maintenance costs: Crops and livestock can help keep the panels running more efficiently, which can save on maintenance costs
  • Land use: Agrivoltaic systems can increase the usefulness of a piece of land
  • Pollinator habitats: Establishing pollinator habitats at solar sites can result in four times as many pollinator visits


- Agrivoltaics Research

President Biden has set a goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse gas pollution by at least half (from 2005 levels) by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions from the power sector by 2035. If the country is to achieve these goals, solar power will have to play a big role. 

Solar energy is likely to provide as much as 40 percent of our electricity by the middle of the next decade, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's latest Solar Future Study. But this hopeful scenario presents a conundrum. Scaling up solar to that extent would require a lot of photovoltaic panels, which in turn would take up a lot of land. How can we install them without fundamentally changing the physical character and function of the landscape? Does scaling up have to mean promoting energy spread?

Agrivoltaics, agrophotovoltaics, agrisolar or dual-use solar is areas of land that use both solar photovoltaic power and agriculture. The co-existence of solar panels and crops means that light is shared between these two production types, so the design of agricultural facilities may need to balance the goals of optimizing crop yield, crop quality and energy production. In some cases, however, crop yields have increased as the shading of the solar panels relieved some of the stress on plants from heat and UV damage. 


- Agrivoltaics and The Inflation Mitigation Act

In rural America, shoulder-high corn is progressively taking on a brand-new earnings stream: solar power. Acres of photovoltaic panels shine brilliantly in fields lining highways and rural back roadways, signifying a shift in the method America’s farmland creates earnings. The require for a delighted marital relationship in between these old and brand-new markets has actually caused a rise in development and a brand-new word to explain this mix: agrivoltaics.  and 

The Inflation Mitigation Act offers billions of dollars in renewable resource funds that will speed up the adoption of solar and other renewable resources. Some of the brand-new photovoltaic panels will arrive on roofs, however many will concentrate on big, utility-scale selections that the United States Department of Energy claims might ultimately cover a location approximately the size of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut . 

Solar panels work best in light winds, moderate temperature levels and low humidity. Roofs share a few of these attributes. But absolutely nothing optimizes this mix of characteristics rather like farmland. For solar designers wanting to get the most out of their financial investment, Farm Country makes alluring. 

For farmers, the destination is shared. Depending on the area, solar power can be among the most successful land usages. Texas farmers can make approximately $500 per acre yearly from solar leases, and California’s Central Valley farmers are periodically viewing as much as $1,000 per acre. That’s simple cash compared to the complex and typically unpredictable company of farming. 



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