Massachusetts Farm Partners with BlueWave in Dual-Use Solar

The Knowlton Farm, a Massachusetts agrisolar operation, has recently partnered with BlueWave Solar to expand agrisolar operations on the farm in Grafton, according to an article by The New York Times.  

Owner Paul Knowlton stated that the farm typically produces a variety of vegetables, dairy products, and hay, but also produces solar energy. He said that solar was already part of the farming operations, providing electricity for both his barn and home, but through this partnership with BlueWave, the farm will include a parcel of land where solar panels will share space with crops, known as dual-use solar, according to the report. 

The dual-use solar operation includes adjusting the heights of solar panels to allow farm operations, including workers, equipment, and grazing animals, to operate underneath them. Spacing and angles of the solar panels are adjusted to benefit crops growing below them—shielding them from the elements, including intense heat. Some of the panels will have cattle grazing beneath them while others will grow butternut squash and lettuce. 

The AgriSolar Clearinghouse will be touring the Knowlton Farm on August 10, 2022, as part of the Follow the Sun Tour. The tour is a series of hands-on field trips to see firsthand the benefits of co-locating sustainable agriculture and solar energy. Other locations on the tour include the Massachusetts Amherst South Deerfield research site and the Million Little Sunbeams family farm.