Entries by Danielle Miska

A Fresh Look at Dual-use Solar in the Pacific Northwest

by Emily Griffith of Renewable NorthWest Renewable Northwest and a small workgroup are preparing an update to the 2019 report, Dual-Use Solar in the Pacific Northwest: A Way Forward, in response to the changing landscape of agrivoltaics (also referred to as dual-use solar) in the region. This blog will explain the need for a fresh […]

Case Study: Mauntel’s Solar Sheep

Written By: Alex Delworth, Clean Energy Policy Associate; Center for Rural Affairs Just off the campus of Maharishi University in Fairfield Iowa, sits a 1.1-megawatt (MW) solar farm. Beneath the panels, a flock of sheep and their newborn lambs are grazing, while beginning rancher Emily Mauntel and her Australian Shepherd Ziggy stand back and admire […]

A Preliminary Investigation of the Effect of Solar Panels, Rotation Frequency on the Grazing Behavior of Sheep

A study led by Emma Kampherbeek (Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands)  highlights multiple benefits of coupling solar energy production to sheep grazing in rangeland systems. This project investigated how sheep use solar arrays as a forage site and the impacts of solar array presence on forage quality in a California Central Coast site with a Mediterranean climate. Sheep with access to solar panels graze more than when they are on nearby native rangeland without an array.  This increased foraging behavior is likely driven by a combination of the protection that the array provides the sheep from weather conditions, which increases grazing time, as well as increased protein content and digestibility of forage with the array footprint.

The International Landscape of Solar Farms and Agrivoltaics

Rebecca A. Efroymson, Environmental Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory); and Jonathan M. O. Scurlock, Chief Adviser for Renewable Energy & Climate Change, National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales Solar photovoltaic (PV) power, the most popular form of renewable energy on farms, is being adopted all over the world. Growers and processors of food worldwide […]

Case Study: ENEL Green Power’s Lake Pulaski

Lake Pulaski is an agrivoltaic solar power plant site developed by Enel Green Power that spans over 68.2 acres in Buffalo, Minnesota. This site is one of 16 developed for the Aurora Distributed Solar LLC project in 2017, supporting pollinators, grazing, and an apiary. The layout consists of 34,668 panels at 315 watts each, spanning […]

Solar and The Future of Farmland

By David Murray In the 1940s, my great-grandfather purchased a small farm in the Hudson Valley of New York. He raised chickens and grew tomatoes, strawberries, and other crops until he passed away. My extended family treasures this farm, but with every passing year, maintaining it becomes less economic. The temptation to sell the property […]

Solar Sheep – an example of multifunctional land use

By Emma Kampherbeek Land is limited. Agriculture, electricity production, housing, nature, etc. all compete for the same plot of land. In some areas more than in others, but the competition is everywhere. On top of that, greenhouse gas emissions keep increasing and the global temperature keeps rising, leading to more frequent natural disasters and parts […]

Manzo Elementary School Solar Garden

Manzo Elementary School, located in Tucson, Arizona, is a Flagship School for the University of Arizona Community and School Garden Program and a fellow agrivoltaic site to Biosphere2. The school has had an award-winning ecology program for over a decade, which includes a garden and hen house cared for by the students as a way […]