Verogy works to retain the value of agricultural land while producing clean energy by implementing sheep grazing on our solar farms. This practice, coined Agrivoltaics, is the co-development of the same area of land for both the production of solar photovoltaic power and agriculture uses.
Can Solar Energy and Agriculture Coexist?
Our most recent project to utilize this process is Bristol Solar One, a 3.25 MW solar farm in central Connecticut. Through our partnership with Agrivoltaics Solutions, a New York based company, we are connected with local sheep farmers to bring their sheep to the solar farm to graze the grass in and around the solar array.
As livestock grazing is a recognized as an important part of agricultural production, this dual use of land is truly a win-win situation. Without sheep grazing, traditional landscaping services would be required to maintain the vegetation in and around the solar array, which releases emissions into the air and herbicides into the soil. Visit The American Solar Grazing Association webpage to learn more about sheep grazing on solar installations.
By employing Agrivoltaic practices, revenues are directed to members of the local agricultural community from the presence of solar farms that employ dual-use sheep grazing programs.
“Farmers, renewable advocates, and neighbors can come together in support of a project such as this one,” said Lexie Hain, a founding partner of Agrivoltaic Solutions and director of the American Solar Grazing Association. “Verogy has charted a path forward in Connecticut to ensure that farming and clean energy can grow successfully, together.”
Revenue Source for Farmers
Installing a solar farm on your property is a great way to increase monetary production for the land without the negative effects of permanent development; after the 20 to 35-year lifespan of the solar array, it will be decommissioned, and the land can then be used for other suitable activities. The same cannot be said for other typical forms of development, such as residential or commercial construction.
Is your land suitable to host a solar farm?
A common option for land owners to increase their revenue is to enter a land lease agreement for the whole or a portion of the land to a solar developer, who will then install an array and provide annual lease payments to the land owner. We work diligently to minimize the disturbed area of the installation, allowing traditional agricultural production to continue without interruption, and we invite new agricultural components to the property such as Livestock Grazing or Beekeeping. At the end of the agreement term, the land owner will have accrued revenue for two to three decades, helped produce imperative amounts of renewable energy, all while retaining ownership and access to their land.
So, can solar energy and agriculture coexist? At Verogy, we believe the answer is not only yes, but it is a resounding, echoing and all-encompassing yes. The two not only coexist, but they provide benefits to one another past the monetary gains described here. Both are crucial in the fight to fortify the sustainability of our planet. If you have land that might be a good host to a solar farm, contact us today to learn how you can create additional revenue while supporting agriculture and renewable energy.