Tag Archive for: agrivoltaics

Agrivoltaics help preserve & improve prime agricultural land while providing farmers with additional income.

American farmland can play a critical role in the clean energy transition, evolving to thrive alongside renewable energy development like solar, wind and energy storage. With respect to solar generation, in order to meet a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035, the Biden Administration has set a goal of having 40% of our nation’s electricity coming from solar by that same date, up from the current 4%. Brownfields, closed capped landfills, rooftops and other preferred sites will provide important sources for hosting solar arrays. However, American farmland also has a significant role to play, and it is estimated that farmers and other landowners will lease more than 2 million acres of agricultural land in the United States for community and utility-scale solar projects by 2030 (a small fraction of the 880 million of farmlands reported by the USDA in 2023).

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Source: Solar Power World

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Bifacial solar panels and other crop-friendly technologies are expanding the field of opportunities for agrivoltaic development.

The emerging field of agrivoltaics has come a long way in just a few years. From a focus on pollinator habitats and grazing lands, agrivoltaic stakeholders are expanding their ambitions to raise peaches, grapes, and other crops within arrays of ground-mounted solar panels. Whether or not that blows up the whole argument against rural solar development remains to be seen, but the alliance between farmers and solar stakeholders could swing the balance and help accelerate the renewable energy transition.

The Agrivoltaic Revolution Is Coming

The agrivoltaic movement goes hand in hand with the falling cost of solar panels. Solar technology was relatively expensive in the early 2000s. To cut maintenance costs, rural solar developers put down gravel and other no-mow solutions for groundcover under the panels. Raising crops was definitely out of the picture.

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Source: Clean Technica

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Installing solar panels over fish farms can help boost seafood harvests by 50% while generating huge amounts of pollution-free electricity.

Installing solar panels over fish farms can help boost seafood harvests by 50% while generating huge amounts of pollution-free electricity, according to a new study out of China.

As the World Resources Institute detailed, this is an exciting example of how solar energy can help us create a cleaner, healthier future that benefits both people and the planet.

The study looked at an aquaculture site near the mouth of the Yellow River in China’s Shandong Province. In 2021, solar panels were installed several meters above the water to generate clean energy. The results have been astonishing.

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Source: yahoo!news

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Agrivoltaics offers a promising solution to the complex task of harmonizing energy production and agriculture.

Every autumn morning at an aquaculture site near the mouth of the Yellow River in China’s Dongying City, Shandong Province, farmers begin packaging shrimp for their customers. Their harvest is increasingly more bountiful thanks to an innovative way of farming that integrates renewable energy into agriculture.

Here, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed several meters above the water, helping to generate an annual 260 gigawatts-hours of energy — enough to power 113,000 households in China. Since its completion and grid connection in 2021, the farmers have also gained many benefits.

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Source: Clean Technica

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The US DOE unveiled a $71 million investment today, with $16 million allocated from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

In line with President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled a $71 million investment today, with $16 million allocated from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This investment aims to bolster research, development, and demonstration projects across the U.S. solar energy supply chain, addressing critical gaps in domestic manufacturing capacity.

Selected projects will focus on enhancing various aspects of the solar supply chain, including equipment, silicon ingots and wafers, and both silicon and thin-film solar cell manufacturing. Additionally, efforts will be made to explore new markets for solar technologies, such as dual-use photovoltaic applications, which encompass building-integrated PV and agrivoltaics.

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Source: Solar Quarter

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The Israeli authorities have proposed a plan to deploy 250 MW of floating solar & agrivoltaics through 4 PV plants in the Negev Desert.

The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said in a recent statement that the authorities have given initial approval for four solar energy plants in the southern part of the country. The program, which will supply at least 250 MW of energy, will now be submitted for comments from various regional committees.

The projects will be constructed in the Arava region of the Negev Desert, between the Ramon Airport and the Timna copper mine, on a total area spanning 4.09 km2. The first plant will include floating PV panels installed over purified waste reservoirs, as well as a ground-mounted PV and storage solutions.

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Source: PV Magazine

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The Oak Run Solar Project on 6,000 acres in Madison County will be able to serve the grid with enough electricity to power 170,000 homes.

A huge solar farm that has been approved in Ohio could be the paradigm for similar ones moving forward.

The Oak Run Solar Project on 6,000 acres in Madison County will be able to serve the grid with enough electricity to power 170,000 homes.

The most impressive part about the billion-dollar effort is how developers are designing the massive system to include agriculture — a concept called agrivoltaics. It’s part of the work to maximize sun-catching, as well as to gain support from Madison’s robust farming community, according to Electrek and the project’s website.

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Source: The Cool Down

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The thin-film solar modules are much more adaptable to agricultural situations than regular panels due to their flexible, lightweight design.

As solar power has been developed and popularized across the globe over the last several decades, the industry has given way to more recent innovation that allows for higher efficiency in irregular places: thin-film solar cells. These lightweight, flexible cells are capable of attachment to surfaces of nearly any shape or design, thanks to their flexibility, while requiring minimal structural supports, due to their light weight. With this technology, solar power is able to be harnessed in a variety of applications and places where previously thought impossible, due to the rigid structure and heavy nature of traditional solar panels.

And now, thin-film solar modules are ready to take on their next challenge: agrivoltaics.

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Source: PV Magazine

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Agrivoltaics could help solar companies win over opponents who want to see the land’s former use maintained.

His voice rang through the sunny morning. Terry waited. Along with his hard hat and protective sunglasses, he wore a button-down shirt, jeans and a silver belt buckle decorated with his cattle brand.

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Source: The Texas Tribune

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Scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife seek to make solar energy production and agricultural production more compatible for producers on the landscape.

Researchers are actively contributing to the growing body of research focused on agrivoltaics—an innovative technology with the potential to enhance the efficiency and resiliency of sustainable food and agricultural systems while feeding the state’s growing demand for energy.

While Texas leads the nation in energy production, thanks to its diverse reserves of fossil fuels and renewable energy resources, the state’s rapidly expanding population places an ever-growing demand on the electrical power grid. This year, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported an unofficial record demand of 85,435 megawatts during the summer heatwave.

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Source: Agri Life Today

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