Entries by Anna Adair

Reducing Post-Harvest Losses Through the Use of Innovative Solar-Powered Refrigeration Systems 

Written for the AgriSolar Clearinghouse by Ridge to Reefs staff Emma Verlinden, Paul Sturm, and Phal Mantha In 2017, the devastation following Hurricane Maria was catastrophic for countless coastal communities. The archipelago of Puerto Rico experienced mass power loss and severe food-supply shortages, leaving many rural communities without power for extended periods of time (in […]

Enabling Real-Time Monitoring of Environmental Conditions and Soil Health Through the Use of Standalone Photovoltaics and Off-the-Shelf Systems

Written for the AgriSolar Clearinghouse by Ridge to Reefs staff Phal Mantha and Paul Sturm Agricultural operations, land management, and environmental projects all have a strong need for consistent monitoring and recording of field conditions over long periods of time. Assessing local environmental conditions can be critical for timing farm operations, as well as for […]

Case Study: Cozy Cove Farm

Just outside of Gurley, Alabama, a herd of grazing llamas and alpacas find refuge from the sun underneath a solar array. Tony and Cozette O’Neil, owners of Cozy Cove Farm, have been raising the animals since 1995, shearing their fleece to make yarn and felt. Today, the O’Neils are also proud renewable energy producers for their community, thanks to the 50-kW solar system that has been generating electricity since February 2013.

Increasing the agricultural sustainability of closed agrivoltaic systems with the integration of vertical farming: A case study on baby-leaf lettuce

In this case study, researchers quantified the increase of land productivity derived from the integration of an experimental vertical farm (VF) for baby leaf lettuce inside a commercial photovoltaic greenhouse. The mixed system increased the lettuce yield by 13 times compared to a non-VF PV greenhouse and the average LER was 1.31. However, only 12 %
of the energy consumption was covered by the photovoltaic energy system.


Modeling Potato Crop Yields for Different Agrophotovoltaic Shading Scenarios

The objective of this thesis work is to evaluate the introduction of agrivoltaics in Italy through the study of the effect of the presence of photovoltaic panels on the final yield of potatoes in Ferrara, Italy. The findings of this preliminary study indicate that agrivoltaic systems should be designed while taking into account the need to ensure a minimum level of incident radiation at least in the first two months of cultivation, to avoid an inter-row production drop. Furthermore, photovoltaic panels are not responsible for the absolute low yield in years with unfavorable weather conditions, such as cold years; on the contrary, they may mitigate the damages to the crop by creating an underneath microclimate and the resulting higher temperature, which however is a hypothesis to be verified in more detail in future studies.

Case Study: Mustang Two Solar Facility

Indart sheep between rows of solar panels. By Anna Adair, NCAT Energy Program Assistant Just outside of Stratford, California, hundreds of sheep spend their days grazing between rows of solar panels at the Mustang Two solar park. The site, owned by Idemitsu Renewables, sits on 1,160 acres and produces enough clean energy to power over […]

Environmental Co-Benefits of Maintaining Native Vegetation With Solar Photovoltaic Infrastructure

In this study, researchers monitored the microclimate, soil moisture, panel temperature, electricity generation and soil properties at a utility-scale solar facility in a continental climate with different site management practices. The vegetated solar areas had significantly higher soil moisture, carbon, and other nutrients compared to bare solar areas. However, the benefits of vegetation cooling effects on electricity generation are rather site-specific and depend on the background climate and soil properties.

Solar energy development on farmland: Three prevalent perspectives of conflict, synergy and compromise in the United States

This article uses the food–energy–water (FEW) nexus framework to delineate three different perspectives of solar energy development on farmland. The first two perspectives fit into the FEW nexus language of “trade-offs” and “synergies” respectively, arguing that solar energy development either conflicts with agricultural land use and food security or, alternatively, that the two land uses can be co-located appropriately to create agrivoltaic systems. The third perspective is a compromise, arguing that solar energy preserves farmland for future agricultural use.

Case Study: Slate Solar PV Park

Indart sheep grazing around solar panels. By Anna Adair, NCAT Energy Program Assistant Located in Kings County, the Slate Solar PV Park produces power for hundreds of thousands of California citizens, while simultaneously providing food and shade for its resident sheep herd. The 390-megawatt site, owned by MN8 Solar and operated by Canadian Solar, rests […]

Case Study: Indart Solar Sheep Grazing

Indart sheep between rows of solar panels. By Anna Adair, NCAT Energy Program Assistant As the average age of the American farmer continues to rise, the question of how to transition an agricultural operation to the next generation is a concern for current farmers. Can agrisolar offer a solution to help keep multi-generational farms and […]