US DoE awards USD 8m to agrivoltaic research projects
Sheep farming combined with solar power production in an agrivoltaic system. Image creator/copyright: K. Thalhofer
The US Department of Energy (DoE) said today it is providing USD 8 million (EUR 7.6m) to six research projects to study agrivoltaics, where solar energy is combined with agricultural production.
The aim is to improve economic opportunities for farmers, while reducing barriers to adopting solar in rural communities. Less than 2% of solar projects in the US are co-located with crops or pollinator habitats, DoE said.
The recipients of funds include Iowa State University, New Jersey’s Rutgers University, Solar and Storage Industries Institute of Washington, DC, the Ohio State University, University of Alaska Fairbanks and University of Arizona. The projects are located across the US and are expected to engage with regional rural and farming communities. They will involve work such as studying horticulture and beekeeping at solar sites, crop and grazing trials, identifying barriers to implementing agrivoltaics.