Entries by Anna Adair

Open-Source Vertical Swinging Wood-Based Solar Photovoltaic Racking Systems

This study discusses the development of a wood-based PV vertical racking design, created to help overcome cost barriers present with commercially available vertical racks. This design is constructed with domestic renewable and sustainable materials, buildable by the average farmer, has a 25-year lifetime that aligns with most PV warranties, and follows Canadian building codes to weather high wind speeds and heavy snow loads.


New Mexico’s Chile Crop Is Hot on Agrivoltaics 

New Mexico has tremendous potential in solar energy production thanks to its consistently sunny weather and high levels of solar irradiance. Presently, the state’s solar market holds a value of $3.2 billion with significant room for expansion. As stakeholders express increasing interest, they are discovering a trend observed in several other states: some of the most favorable locations for extensive solar developments are within agricultural production fields. The concept of integrating photovoltaic (PV) panels into these fields, known as agrivoltaics, has gathered attention and investment.

Case Study: University of Delaware Agrisolar Research 

As we strive for climate change solutions, competition over land for food production or clean energy production is an emerging challenge to address this challenge, demonstrations of systems that produce energy and food on the same land are needed to usher in solution-scale adoption of these practices. A new research project at the University of […]

Case Study: Hawai’i Agriculture Research Center

Crops growing under solar panels at the Hawai’i Agriculture Research Center.  By Anna Adair, NCAT Energy Program Assistant   In Mililani, Hawai’i, a one-acre agrivoltaic research and development site run by the Hawai’i Agriculture Research Center (HARC) is working to grow fruits and vegetables for their community, while also discovering which crops grow best locally in […]

Grants Available for Projects Showcasing Agrivoltaics in Colorado 

PRESS RELEASE Colorado Department of Agriculture   October 3, 2023  Solar Sampler attendees at Jack’s Solar Garden.  To help demonstrate one of the many ways agriculture can contribute to addressing the effects of climate change, Colorado is investing $500,000 in projects that help advance the use of agrivoltaics in the state.   Agrivoltaics is the practice of co-locating […]

Responses Requested for First-Ever National Solar Grazing Census 

Sheep grazing at Brookfield agrisolar site. Photo: AgriSolar Clearinghouse  By Alyssa Andrew and Greg Plotkin  As solar development around the nation continues to accelerate, opportunities for farmers to graze livestock on solar sites also continue to grow. This is often considered a win-win scenario as it allows for land to continue in active agriculture while […]

Case Study: Colorado State University Rooftop Agrivoltaics 

A variety of chile pepper plants grow under solar panels on the roof of Colorado State University Spur campus. Written for the AgriSolar Clearinghouse by Allison Jackson, Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center Sitting atop the brand-new Hydro Building at Colorado State University’s Spur campus is one of the world’s first agrivoltaic rooftops. The 46-kW array is a […]

Ecovoltaics: Framework and future research directions to reconcile land-based solar power development with ecosystem conservation

Realizing that less effort has been made to reconcile solar development with biodiversity conservation, reaserchers in this article provide a framework that uses a unique land-sharing approach and is based on five pillars that cover key aspects of solar park planning and maintenance: (1) eco-smart siting in the landscape, which considers ecological interactions with the landscape matrix and trade-offs between multiple small vs. fewer large solar parks; (2) eco-smart park layout to address the ecological aspects of the spatial configuration of solar park infrastructure; (3) creation of diverse, novel grassland ecosystems with high ecosystem service provisioning capacity using a trait-based ecosystem design approach; (4) management of the novel ecosystem throughout the lifespan of the solar parks; and (5) ensuring stakeholder engagement to integrate this in a viable business model with high community acceptance.

Case Study: Winston Cone Optics and Dairy Processing 

Winston Cone Optics’ installed pilot system on the roof of a dairy barn in California. By Anna Adair, NCAT Energy Program Assistant Thanks to the increase of solar photovoltaic sites in recent years, agrivoltaics has started to work its way into the public eye as a means of bridging the gap between land use for […]

Experimental and numerical investigation of the influence of terrain slope on the performance of single-axis trackers

This paper highlights the higher annual solar irradiation incident of single-axis N-S trackers installed on sloping terrain, as compared to horizontal ones. Researchers showcase the results of a year-long experiment in which a N-S aligned single-axis tracker prototype was used in Gijón, Spain. The experimental results confirm the trends in the formulas and simulations. Finally, theoretical values for the energy gain for different slopes, at locations over the northern hemisphere between latitudes of 6◦ and 60◦ are provided. These gains can reach values up to 13.5%.