Entries by Anna Adair


Harvesting the Sun, the Agrisolar Short Film, is Available Now!

Across the country, farmers, landowners, researchers, and solar companies are working together to harvest the sun twice: once with crops, honey, pollinators, and forage for grazing animals, and again with solar panels. This co-location of solar and agriculture is known as agrisolar or agrivoltaics. In Harvesting the Sun, the leading voices of the agrivoltaic movement […]

Case Study: Alaska Agrivoltaics

Southcentral Alaska is home to the state’s first agrivoltaics project, a study that aims to uncover the best practices for harvesting from both land and sun. The research team will monitor both farmed crops and native berry plants that grow between the rows of panels at an operational solar PV array.  The solar array is situated in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, where the majority of Alaska’s farmland is located.  

Solar PV Power Potential is Greatest Over Croplands

This article discusses solar panel efficiency as a function of the location’s microclimate within which it is immersed. Researchers present a model for solar panel efficiency that incorporates the influence of the panel’s microclimate, derived from first principles and validated with field observations. The model proves that PV panel efficiency is influenced by insolation, air temperature, wind speed, and relative humidity. The researchers then classified solar power production potential based on local land cover classification and found that croplands have the greatest median solar potential. Agrivoltaic systems may alleviate land competition or other spatial constraints for solar power development, creating a significant opportunity for future energy sustainability.

If You Build it, Will They Come? Insect Community Responses to Habitat Establishment at Solar Energy Facilities in Minnesota, USA

This article, written by AgriSolar Clearinghouse partners at Argonne National Lab and NREL, discusses the results of a five-year field study to understand how insect communities respond to newly established habitat on solar energy facilities in agricultural landscapes. Researchers found an increase in all habitat and biodiversity metrics, including a rise in abundance and diversity for both flowering plants and insects. Positive effects on the frequency of bee visitation to a nearby soybean field were also recorded. Their observations provide support for solar-pollinator habitat as a feasible conservation practice to safeguard biodiversity and increase food security in agricultural landscapes.

Case Study: Oregon Agrivoltaic Research Facility

Cantaloupe melons growing between rows of solar panels.  By Anna Adair, NCAT Energy Program Assistant    Just south of Portland, Oregon, researchers with Oregon State University (OSU) are putting agrisolar principles to the test at the Oregon Agrivoltaic Research Facility. The site is located at the Noth Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) and serves as […]