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Electrical Consumption on Midwestern Dairy Farms in the United States and Agrivoltaics to Shade Cows in a Pasture-Based Dairy System

The objectives of the thesis were to investigate electrical energy use on dairy farms located in west central Minnesota and to evaluate the effects of shade use by cattle from solar photovoltaic systems. This study concluded that agrivoltaics is one method that producers could use to achieve multiple benefits, including but not limited to: increasing land-use efficiency, reducing grid-tied and fossil fuel-produced electricity use, and increasing consumer acceptance all while providing heat abatement to cattle which has the potential to increase milk production, health, and welfare of dairy cows.