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Emilie Ritter Saunders
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August 29, 2018 - NREL researcher Jordan Macknick and Michael Lehan discuss panel orientation and spacing. Macknick is working with teams from UMass Clean Energy Extension and Hyperion on a photovoltaic dual-use research project at the UMass Crop Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield, MA. They are researching simultaneously growing crops under PV Arrays while producing electricity from the panels. The project is part of the DOE InSPIRE project seeking to improve the environmental compatibility and mutual benefits of solar development with agriculture and native landscapes. L-R Michael Lehan, Jordan Macknick, Anne Marley, Jake Marley, Dwayne Bregel, Kristin Oleskwwicz and Zara Dowling. (Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL)Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL

The AP Reports on the Benefits of AgriSolar Development

The Associated Press is reporting on the benefits of agrisolar development, that is, the co-location of solar panels on appropriate farm land. “There's lots of spaces where solar could be integrated with really innovative uses of land,”…
Helical solar installationCourtesy of Helical Solar

Helical Solar Case Study

As with most inventions, necessity drove James McKinion’s design for the Helical Solar dual axis, bifacial solar panel array. In 2016, McKinion wanted to maximize the area above cut pine trees for solar energy. However, it soon became apparent that the cost of bulldozing and clearing tree stumps was cost-prohibitive. He decided to engineer a solution.
monarch larvaeUSDA

Welcome to the AgriSolar Clearinghouse

Solar developments are expected to cover 3 million acres of land in the next ten years. Under traditional solar development, these lands could be taken over for energy-only production and this could impact pollinator habitat, food production,…

WATCH: Pollinators, Prairie, and Power

The relationship among plants, soil, insects, and water is complex. This film by Prairie Restorations, Inc. explains the unique opportunity to rebuild America's prairies and power the country, by co-locating solar arrays with pollinator…

Sheep and the Sun: Solar Grazing with Lexie Hain

A recent episode of ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture podcast Voices from the Field takes a look at solar grazing, the practice of using livestock to manage the vegetation under solar panels. Sheep are widely considered the best animal for solar grazing, and they are being used in many countries with great success.

WATCH: Inside Biosphere 2 Agrivoltaics

AgriSolar Clearinghouse partner Greg Barron-Gafford highlights the Biosphere 2 work in Agrivoltaics, including the application of biosphere techniques to fine-tune agrivoltaic crop growing. The project includes citizen science that…
Arizona Public Media Gafford

WATCH: Agrivoltaics with Greg Barron-Gafford

AgriSolar Clearinghouse partner Greg Barron-Gafford describes the mutual benefits of growing crops under solar panels in large-scale solar arrays. In this video produced by Arizona Public Media, Dr. Gafford explains these benefits through…