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Solar and Storage Industries Institute launches Solar + Farms Survey

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Energy Global,

The Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2) has announced the launch of the Solar + Farms Survey. This research initiative explores barriers to agrivoltaics, or solar projects that serve a dual purpose by incorporating food crops or forage for livestock under and around the solar panels.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office’s Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale (FARMS) programme, and in collaboration with National Farmers Union (NFU), the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Solar + Farms Survey will help stakeholders better understand the challenges facing farmers, solar developers, and electric utilities as they consider dual use solar on farmland. While there are over 150 agrivoltaic solar sites in operation across the country according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), many barriers to further development persist. The resources developed as part of this project will provide farmers, developers, utilities, and policy makers with the resources necessary to assess agrivoltaic solutions. The agricultural industry’s input is crucial to leading the clean energy transition.

“Agrivoltaics is expanding across the country and has shown to be beneficial to both farmers and the deployment of clean energy,” said David Gahl, Executive Director of the SI2. “The Solar + Farms Survey will enable farmers to share their experiences with agrivoltaics and learn more about the topic if they are not familiar with it.”

“At SI2, we are continually researching mechanisms to speed up the clean energy transition, and understanding farmers’ perspectives on clean energy is a significant part of our research,” added Gahl. “I am excited to learn from the survey results and explore how the solar and agriculture community can further collaborate to expand clean energy deployment across the country.”

“Solar siting is one of the most difficult parts of deploying clean energy, and better collaboration with farmers will help us bridge the knowledge gap,” commented Shawn Rumery, Senior Director of Research at SEIA. “With a clearer understanding of the barriers facing stakeholders, we can begin to develop solutions to help further the deployment of agrivoltiac systems and address some of the solar siting challenges that persist today.”

The deadline to complete this survey is 9 April 2024.



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