AgriSolar News Roundup: DOE Agrivoltaics Funding, USDA Climate Awards, Solar Powered Dehydrator
DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office Announces $8 Million in Projects for Agrivoltaics Research
“The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office announced $8 million in new projects that will research agrivoltaics—agricultural production, such as crop production, livestock grazing, and pollinator habitat underneath solar panels and/or in between rows of solar panels.
The Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale (FARMS) funding program will advance agrivoltaics practices and show how it can provide new economic opportunities to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry. They explore different ways to implement agrivoltaics that will address concerns from the solar industry and farmers. Currently, less than 2% of solar systems utilize agrivoltaic practices.” – Energy.gov
AgriSolar Clearinghouse partner Greg-Barren Gafford from The University of Arizona is among the award recipients. Learn more about award recipients, which also include Rutgers and Ohio State University, here.
USDA Announces Climate Smart Commodity Awards
USDA Announced 71 climate-smart commodity awards in round 2 of the initiative. Among the awardees is The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UT-RGV), with the project “Validating Agrivoltaic Technology with Underserved Agricultural Producers.”
The AgriSolar Clearinghouse will serve as a technical assistance provider for this project. This work will include the production of outreach materials, education, and workshops to promote benefits to potential agrivoltaic adopters in the Rio Grande Valley.
JUA Technologies Develops Solar-Powered Dehydrator
“JUA Technologies, an agriculture technology start-up that manufactures solar-powered crop dehydrators, has received a two-year, $600,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop its technology.” – PV Magazine
Italian Research Shows Benefits of Growing Soybeans Using Agrivoltaics
“Scientists from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy have investigated different shade depth treatments on soybeans grown under an elevated agrivoltaic system in Monticelli d’Ongina, Italy. ‘Our work confirmed that soybean is shade tolerant and can be grown in combination with solar power generation. Considering not only soy but more crops and extensive crops in a large scale agrivoltaics is useful for increasing the sustainability of the agrivoltaic system itself.’ researcher Eleonora Potenza told PV magazine. – PV Magazine
Meta Obtains 720MW of Solar from Silicon Ranch
“Facebook owner Meta Platforms will power additional data center operations around the Southeast with 720 MW of new solar developments in Georgia and Tennessee with Silicon Ranch. Silicon Ranch is partnering with the Walton Electric Membership Corporation and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to supply power from seven new solar facilities to power Meta’s data centers in the two Southeast states, respectively.” – PV Magazine