Local farmers in Columbus, Indiana, have partnered with Hoosier Energy to create clean energy by installing solar panels over grazing land on a local sheep farm. Of Hoosier Energy’s 10 solar arrays, this is the first farm to have an array of solar panels on local farmland.
“We’re able to continue to use it as an agricultural value by partnering with a farmer on using sheep to graze the site, so it’s really good because we get … more benefit than just solar. It’s actually an agricultural benefit to the community as well,” said John Cisney, a technical analyst at Hoosier Energy.
The farm and solar partnership is a win-win situation. Sheep continue to graze the land but with the solar panels in place, there is an added benefit of producing clean energy, which benefits the environment. “It’s cleaner. There are no CO2 emissions. It’s sustainable. It’s renewable,” said Curt Durnil, communications director at Hoosier Energy.
These panels are capable of harnessing energy from the sun throughout the day, as they follow the sun from east to west, unlike a typical solar panel on a residential home that operates in a fixed position.
“[W]hat that allows us to do is capture more energy from the sun, up to 15-20% more in a year’s time period than if they were just fixed facing the sun throughout the day,” Cisney said.
To learn more about the Agrisolar farm in Indiana, click here.