Solar panels keeping sheep fed during drought

The partial shade offered by solar panels creates a microclimate that reduces evaporation and significantly boosts the production of vegetation in arid climates.

Two agrivoltaic installations in New South Wales, Australia are being credited with increasing the quantity and quality of fleece in sheep grazing at the facilities during a drought. Research has indicated that the partial shade offered by solar panels creates a microclimate that reduces evaporation and significantly boosts the production of vegetation in arid climates.

While these results are preliminary and anecdotal (and perhaps a tall tale from a fleece salesman down under), they offer potentially exciting field results that could be applied globally.

Graeme Ostini, a wool broker, says he’s been grazing his merino wethers (a variety of sheep) at a solar farm where sheep can graze under the modules. Ostini and other grazers say that over the past few years, these sheep have been ‘cutting an amazing amount of wool’.

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Source: PV Magazine

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