Sheep grazing under solar panels in Australia’s South Wales has resulted in an increase in the quantity and quality of wool, says a report from ABC Rural. Local graziers are calling it a “win-win” situation.
Grazier Graeme Ostini says his farm is now cutting “an amazing amount of wool.” And due to condensation from the solar panels, the sheep are able to graze almost entirely through the (Australian) drought years, says the report.
Former grazier and farmer Tom Warren leases a portion of his land to a solar farm on which250 sheep graze under solar panels. Since leasing his land, his income has increased and the carrying capacity of his land has increased nearly 25%.
“It’ll be because of the conditions the sheep are living in. It’s relatively clean, without burrs, without dust. There’s very, very little contamination of the wool and they’re protected from the sun as well,” said Warren.
Madeline Taylor, energy policy and landholder rights researcher, said, “We’re starting to get a really good database of studies showing how the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaics can be done successfully. We’ve seen that it works really well for grazing. Now, believe it or not, cropping can also really work very well alongside solar energy,” according to ABC Rural.