Farming and Solar: The Benefits of Agrivoltaics
If you’ve ever driven by a winery or an orchard and seen solar panels in its fields, you witnessed agrivoltaics. Agrivoltaics is when you use your land for both agriculture and solar energy generation. When you think about how much potential renewable energy has to change our way of life, it’s no surprise that solar has moved up the ranks to major farmland across the country. Landowners can benefit greatly from installing ground-mounted solar panels on their property, both financially and environmentally.
Monetary Benefits for Your Bottom Line
If you’re a fruit farmer, owning solar may be in the best interest of your crop and your overall business model. When you partner with Catalyst Power, you can sign up for our one-of-a-kind Connected Microgrid solution. Once you sign up for a Connected Microgrid with us, we build, own, and operate the solar array for you at no cost. Not only do you skip the operation and maintenance costs, but you now get direct access to an on-site solar solution. With our Connected Microgrid, your farm can consume clean energy generated right on your property and as a result, you score a discount on your monthly energy bill. You can protect your investment (it offers great shade for your fruit!), and it doesn’t cost you anything to sign up.
Big Environmental Payoff
There are a few names for hosting solar panel installations on your farm, like dual-use solar, co-location, or solar grazing (livestock grazing under or around solar panels). The latter is seen mostly in the Northeast and has proven to be quite effective over the years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Traditionally, the grasses that would grow up between solar panels need to be mowed to prevent the plants from shading the panels and reducing their efficiency. However, when sheep can be used, the high maintenance costs associated with mowing are eliminated [...] At the same time, local shepherds can benefit from an added revenue stream to graze their sheep at these sites.” A great example of sheep on duty is a 30-acre community solar project in Newfield, New York.
Additional benefits are land preservation and more shade-tolerant crops. When using a Connected Microgrid, you get access to cleaner, more affordable energy, all while diversifying and increasing agricultural production. You’re not only improving the quality of your livelihood, but also your community.
It’s a great way to showcase how your business is a local asset, especially if your location includes activities like fruit pickings, tasting rooms, and more.
We Know Our Way Around the Field
You can harvest more than just your fruits this season if you contact one of our Energy Experts today. Yield great cost savings and a win-win solution for your produce and your bottom line!