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Emilie Ritter
Communications Director
emilier@ncat.org

saffron

Case Study: Saffron and Solar Farms

The North American Center for Saffron Research and Development is conducting a multi-year study of saffron crops grown under and adjacent to ground-mounted solar arrays. The study, which began in 2015, includes two years of field data from…

Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar Case Study

The Monadnock Region Community Supported Solar project in New Hampshire is bringing together farmers, investors, and champions with a goal of helping local farms realize the potential of the renewable energy economy. Community-supported…

Pollinator-Friendly Solar Pairs Economic Development, Conservation Goals

Written By: Cody Smith As communities across the nation continue to embrace a future powered by clean energy, new solar farms are offering an opportunity to pair economic development and conservation goals. As landowners, project developers,…

The Solar Game

By: Wexus Technologies Here’s a dirty secret: growers, processors, homeowners, and commercial businesses are spending too much money on solar energy installations. When many people think about their energy usage and getting relief from…
Pollinator flowers adjacent to solar panels

WEBINAR: Native Vegetation + Solar Energy

Cody Smith, policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, hosts this webinar on best management practices for implementing native vegetation on solar project sites in the region with Rob Davis, director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy. 
Sheep grazing on Agrisolar farmland.

Grazing Solar Sites Provides Benefits to Land and Farmers

By Heidi Kolbeck-Urlacher, Senior Policy Associate, Center for Rural Affairs  On a chilly September afternoon, a flock of Targhee/Rambouillet cross sheep quietly wander the grounds of an 18-acre solar garden site in southwestern…

Dual Use in the Pacific Northwest

When I think about dual-use solar, I think about why this approach is a good idea for the Pacific Northwest. In a region that enjoys wild, open areas, it would be easy to assume that there’s “plenty of space” for building solar. Of course, as we look closer, we realize that there are many uses and users of these spaces and lands - between agriculture, conservation, and the plentiful ways to recreate in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. Oregon and Washington have rich agricultural economies and histories that are entwined with their natural resources and beauty. As a native Oregonian myself, I recognize the connection I have and value I place on these pristine spaces and activities. Protecting those spaces and activities is important to many. 

LISTEN: NCAT’s AgriSolar Clearinghouse Aims to Make Solar More Accessible to Land Managers 

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has launched America’s first AgriSolar Clearinghouse to connect farmers, ranchers, land managers, solar developers, and researchers with trusted, practical information to increase the co-location…
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
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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…

AgriSolar News