January 12, 2020


On-farm solar grows as farmers see economic rewards -- and risks (LISA HELD, JANUARY 11, 2020, Salon)

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the number of farms with solar panels increased nearly 150 percent between 2012 and 2017, from 36,000 to 90,000. Even American Farmland Trust (AFT), an organization dedicated to preserving agricultural land, is promoting agriculture and solar "co-location." AFT just hosted an event last month for Long Island farmers called, "Combating Climate Change: Solar Energy, Farming, and the Future in New York."

"Renewable energy is a natural fit for America's farmlands. When you put a solar array or wind turbine on a farm, it pays dividends both economically and environmentally," said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). "We're just scratching the surface of the partnership potential."

"The commitment to sustainability is waking up before the sun and farming in a way that supports ecosystems--and solar has been part of our on-farm work for years," said Stanley Minnick, Organic Valley's energy services and technology manager, during a presentation at the Solar Energy Industries Association conference in November. Minnick was at the event to present the results of a project the company had completed at its corporate headquarters. After installing solar panels on three rooftops, investing in both solar and wind farms, and forming creative alliances, the company's operations are now powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Posted by at January 12, 2020 12:00 AM