AgriSolar News Roundup: Solar Leasing Guidebook and Workshops, Maryland Solar Bills, Australian AgriSolar

American Farmland Trust Announces Guidebook and Workshops for Solar Leasing 

American Farmland Trust, a stakeholder in the AgriSolar Clearinghouse, has announced they will offer virtual and in-person workshops designed to help ranchland and farmland owners understand the emerging solar-development field. 

“Solar energy development is accelerating rapidly in our region, and what we’re seeing is that farmland and rangeland owners are on the frontlines of this trend,” says Addie Candib, AFT Pacific Northwest Regional Director. “Many communities are wrestling with the question of whether – and where – solar should be built, but at some point, it will be up to the individual landowner to decide what’s in the long-term best interests for their business and their families. That’s what this project is about – helping farmers and ranchers to make informed decisions about the future of their land.” – American Farmland Trust 

Pair of Community Solar Bills Passes in Maryland 

“The Maryland legislature has taken steps towards strengthening its ongoing community solar pilot program, passing a pair of bills targeted at increasing the amount of eligible projects, and increasing the incentive for such projects to be developed. HB 1039 and HB 440 create tax incentives for the development of agrivoltaic community solar projects which serve low- and moderate-income customers on rooftops, brownfields, landfills, and clean fills, as well as increasing maximum project capacity to 5 MW. The bills both build on regulatory action from 2021, which expanded the program to allow community solar to power the equivalent of an additional 6,840 Maryland homes, while also allowing community solar projects to be built on clean-fill construction sites, transforming previously unusable industrial locations into clean solar energy generation sites.” – PV Magazine 

Australian Solar Park will Host Crops in New AgriSolar Program 

“Italy’s Enel will launch an experimental agrivoltaics program at its 34 MW Cohuna Solar Farm in the Australian state of Victoria to help formulate a ‘best practices’ template for utility-scale solar PV sites in other countries. Enel Green Power Australia, a subsidiary of Italian energy giant Enel, will explore how to combine solar PV generation and agricultural production in a new research program to be undertaken at its Cohuna Solar Farm in northern Victoria. Much of the land near the Cohuna Solar Farm is home to sheep grazing operations. While ‘solar grazing’ is proving to be a popular form of land co-use for large-scale solar, other forms of agrivoltaics are emerging that support horticulture, viticulture, aquaculture and even cropping activities.” – PV Magazine