Australian Guide to Agrisolar for Large-Scale Solar
This guide has been developed to share knowledge and learnings from agrisolar practices around Australia and the world, to assist proponents of utility-scale solar, and the landholders and farmers who work with them, to integrate agricultural activities into solar farm projects. As solar grazing is the dominant form of agrisolar for utility-scale solar, this guide has a strong focus on sharing the knowledge and learnings from Australian projects that have integrated solar grazing practices to date, providing case studies from solar farms currently employing solar grazing, information on the benefits of solar grazing for proponents and farmers, and practical guidance for both farmers and proponents considering solar grazing. A further aim is to contribute to the local knowledge of trends and research from international markets about a broader range of agrisolar models which could be considered for the Australian context. With the deployment of large utility-scale solar farms commencing in Australia from around 2015 onwards, the local experience of agrisolar practices is still developing and currently dominated by the practice of sheep grazing on solar farms. The first known Australian solar farm to implement agrisolar practice was the Royalla Solar Farm which began grazing sheep in 2015. Since then, there have been over a dozen solar farms that have introduced grazing, and it has proved to be an effective partnership for both solar farm proponents and graziers. ‘Solar grazing’, as it is known, is the most prevalent form of complementary land use for utility-scale solar farms. At present, where other forms of agrisolar are being pursued in horticulture, viticulture, aquaculture and cropping, it is typically at a much smaller (ie. nonutility) scale.