Tag Archive for: agrivoltaic news

New Jersey Farm Studies Agrisolar  

“Rutgers University’s 170 kW agrivoltaic project on its farm on the Cook campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey features a vertical solar installation designed by California-based Sunstall. 

The farm operates as a production farm, research facility and teaching operation in support of the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station related activities. At the farm, students, faculty and staff care for a variety of animals, including sheep, goats and cattle. 

Results from the project will contribute to the Dual-Use Solar Energy Pilot Program administered by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station received $2 million from the state for building research and demonstration agrivoltaics systems on its Research Farms. – PV Magazine 

New Rules for Agrisolar Systems in France 

“The French government has published the long-awaited Decree No. 2024-318 in the country’s official journal. The legislation defines the conditions for the installation of solar panels on agricultural, natural, or forest land. 

It also contains a definition of agrivoltaics and places agricultural exploitation at the center of the debate. The new provisions state that an agrivoltaics facility should not negatively impact the potential of the soil and ensure an agricultural yield loss of less than 10%.” – PV Magazine 

Legal Experts in US Dispel False Claims about Solar 

“Now solar power, and more recently, energy storage, are being installed more than any source of energy ever, and the opposition sometimes takes the form of spreading misinformation from centralized, fossil-funded sources to affect the local acceptability of solar. And it has had an impact

The Sabin Center for Climate Change at Columbia Law School collected 14 false solar power claims in its document, “Rebutting 33 False Claims About Solar, Wind, and Electric Vehicles.” The law school previously launched the Renewable Energy Legal Defense Initiative in 2019, and published discussions of legislation that might slow renewable energy deployment.” PV Magazine 

Upcoming Agrisolar Peer-to-Peer Learning Cohort

“This agrisolar learning cohort will support community-based organizations, local nonprofit organizations, and Tribal governments in navigating the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing successful agrivoltaics projects. Participants will be able to identify and refine their project goals; evaluate suitable technology options; discuss zoning, licensing, land use, and ownership considerations; explore funding and financing approaches; and learn about market and policy considerations that may affect project viability, scale, and economics.” – NREL

Oak Run Agrisolar Project Will be the Largest Agrisolar Operation in the US

“The $1 billion Oak Run Solar Project, approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board last week, will sit on over 6,000 acres in Madison County, west of Columbus.

The 800-megawatt (MW) solar farm will have two 3.5-mile-long transmission lines. It will also be paired with a 300 MW battery energy storage facility and create enough electricity to power 170,000 households. Kansas City-based Savion, a Shell Group subsidiary, is Oak Run’s developer.

Nearly 90% of Madison County is designated as farmland, and Oak Run has faced a lot of local opposition. So as part of the approval conditions, Oak Run will graze at least 1,000 sheep and grow crops on 2,000 acres after the first year of operation. Within eight years of operation, at least 70% of the farmable project area, or at least 4,000 acres, will include agrivoltaics.” – Electrek

Research Shows Crops Can Boost Photovoltaic Panel Performance and Longevity 

“We now have, for the first time, a physics-based tool to estimate the costs and benefits of co-locating solar panels and commercial agriculture from the perspective of increased power conversion efficiency and solar-panel longevity,” said lead author Henry Williams, a doctoral student at Cornell. 

“‘There is potential for agrivoltaic systems – where agriculture and solar panels coexist – to provide increased passive cooling through taller panel heights, more reflective ground cover and higher evapotranspiration rates compared to traditional solar farms,’ said senior author Max Zhang, professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, ‘We can generate renewable electricity and conserve farmland through agrivoltaic systems.’” – News Wise  

The study can be found here

170 MW of Agrivoltaics to be Developed in Italy  

Enel Green Power has started building a 170 MW agrivoltaics plant in Viterbo, Italy. The Rome-based company claims it will be Italy’s largest agrivoltaics installation upon completion. The plant will feature bifacial PV modules mounted on trackers, both from undisclosed manufacturers.  

Enel is using a ‘solar-first’ approach to solar and agriculture, with electricity generation remaining the main goal. Its approach is designed to retrofit large-scale solar plants to allow crops to grow between the trackers and the panels. Agriculture is integrated into existing solar farms, rather than the other way around, as is often the case in agrivoltaics projects.” – PV Magazine 

Oregon Research Shows Agrisolar Benefits Crops and Livestock 

“Putting solar panels on farmland, known as agrivoltaics, has been a bit of a political hot-potato in some parts of Europe and the U.S. For environmental engineer Chad Higgins, at Oregon State University, the choice between farmland and energy is a false one. There has to be thoughtful design, he says, but ’our research indicates they can coexist and even create mutual benefits.’ 

Researchers around the world are exploring growing everything from grapes and raspberries to potatoes and wheat under and between photovoltaic panels. Higgins has shown that sheep will preferentially graze in field areas where shade was offered by solar panels; lambs that foraged under solar panels put on as much weight as those in open fields and in late spring needed less water.”  – Reuters