Agrisolar News Roundup Photo

AgriSolar News Roundup: Vermont Agrisolar, Agrivoltaic Greenhouses, Illinois Crop Study 

Vermont Farm Shows Benefits of Grazing Sheep on Solar Farms 

A report by North American Clean Energy reveals the benefits of grazing sheep on solar farms. The sheep are small enough to graze under the panels, which are sometimes hard to reach with maintenance equipment and often damaged by cows. Unlike goats, sheep are unlikely to chew on wiring and more likely to search for vegetation that other animals may not reach. Many solar farms in the nation are utilizing sheep for Agrisolar operations due to the natural behavior of the sheep as well as reducing carbon emissions and operation costs, according to the report.   

New Solar Filters May Enhance Crop Production 

Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered that a variety of filters in greenhouses may enhance the production of crops such as lettuce, according to a news release by PV Magazine. Researchers used what is known as transcriptomic analysis to assess variations of crops grown in greenhouses equipped with organic solar cells coated with filters that may be adjusted in order to fine-tune characteristics of the crops being grown. In this study, Red Leaf Lettuce was used, according to the news release. 

Illinois Study Aims to Discover Which Crops Pair Well with Solar  

An Illinois project was recently approved for funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study agrivoltaic designs and variations of crop species, according to a report by PV Magazine. The project, Sustainably Collocating Agricultural and Photovoltaic Electricity Systems (SCAPES), will study specialty crops, row crops and foraging crops in three biophysically diverse environments in Arizona, Colorado and Illinois, according to the report.