"US Seeks Perfect Mix of Farming and Solar Panels"

"Flat, sunny acres of land are prime real estate for solar energy developers who hold a key role in helping the US meet its climate goals.

But developers are often eyeing fields of wheat, corn, and hay; ranches roamed by cattle and sheep; and plots bursting with berries and lettuce. If built there, solar panels can level farms that feed the country. Yet federal energy officials and university researchers believe there’s no conflict.

The Energy Department is scaling up the emerging field of “agrivoltaics,” which seeks innovations in both solar technology and farming techniques that can produce clean energy and food at the same time, on the same plot of land.

The aim is to meet US climate goals while reducing conflicts with farmers and providing benefits to local communities, said Michele Boyd, a program manager in the department’s Solar Energy Technologies Office who leads the agrivoltaics portfolio."

Daniel Moore and Maeve Sheehey report for Bloomberg Environment January 4, 2023.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 01/04/2023