Colorado Department of Agriculture
October 3, 2023
Solar Sampler attendees at Jack’s Solar Garden.
To help demonstrate one of the many ways agriculture can contribute to addressing the effects of climate change, Colorado is investing $500,000 in projects that help advance the use of agrivoltaics in the state.
Agrivoltaics is the practice of co-locating solar energy installations and agriculture, with crops or grazing land beneath or between rows of photovoltaic panels. Now, farmers, ranchers, and other landowners with innovative ideas on how to use agrivoltaics in Colorado will have a chance to apply for funding for their projects.
“Adding solar energy development to working farms and ranches is a unique opportunity to create multiple benefits on a single piece of land,” said Les Owen, Director of CDA’s Conservation Services Division. “Funding further development and research of agrivoltaics will support both Colorado’s producers and Colorado’s renewable energy goals.”
Tractor in front of solar panels at Jack’s Solar Garden.
Through the Agrivoltaics Research and Demonstration Grant Program, the Colorado Department of Agriculture will fund projects that study the benefits and tradeoffs of agrivoltaics in the state.
Grant funding proposals can cover a variety of projects, including:
- construction of agrivolatic systems
- expansion of existing demonstration projects
- research projects around the benefits and costs of agrivoltaics
- outreach and education projects that focus on understanding the barriers and opportunities of co-locating solar development on agricultural lands.
CDA will host a webinar on the application process on Monday, October 9, 2023, at 1 pm. Interested participants can register here.
Funding for this program comes from Senate Bill 23-092. In August 2023, CDA convened a Steering Committee of industry and agricultural experts to advise on the purpose and design of this grant program. These Grant Guidelines describe the purpose and objectives of the grant program, as well as the responsibilities of the grantees.
This grant is administered by the Agricultural Drought and Climate Resilience Office (ADCRO), which helps advance CDA’s goal of Expanding Water-Resilient Agriculture. Through a comprehensive approach that includes technical assistance, grant funding, marketing assistance, advocacy, and partnerships, CDA seeks to maintain robust agricultural production while ensuring the sustainable use of water resources. For more information, please visit ag.colorado.gov/ADCRO.
Recognizing that climate change causes pressing dangers that can lead to public health and safety risks, Colorado is committed to 100% net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. The state is taking action across all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, in ways that will not only protect public health and reduce air pollution, but also create significant cost savings on energy, transportation, and goods.
Photos courtesy of the AgriSolar Clearinghouse.