This review examines three key agrivoltaic setups—static tilted, full-sun tracking, and agronomic tracking—dissecting their engineering features’ roles in optimizing both the electricity yield and the fruit productivity of some fruit crops.

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.

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.

This paper addresses the need for a review that provides a clear explanation of agrivoltaics, including the factors that impact agricultural and energy production in agrivoltaic systems, types of panel configurations and technologies to optimize these systems, and a synthesis of modelling studies which have already been conducted in this area.

This episode features a conversation between Stacie Peterson, NCAT’s Energy Program Director and Manager of the AgriSolar Clearinghouse, and Pete Berthelsen, Executive Director of The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund and President of Conservation Blueprint. 

It is the fourth in a series of AgriSolar Clearinghouse podcasts that are being featured on ATTRA’S Voices from the Field podcast.  

Pete and Stacie discuss the benefits of pollinator habitat at solar energy sites, pollinator habitat design, seed mixes, pollinator health and quality, and what anyone can do to help pollinators in their own backyard. 

AgriSolar Clearinghouse Resources: 

Other Resources: 

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You can get in touch with NCAT/ATTRA specialists and find access to our trusted, practical sustainable-agriculture publications, webinars, videos, and other resources at ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.   

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This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy Technologies Office Award Number DE-EE000937. Legal Disclaimer: The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Energy or the United States Government.