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U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Agrivoltaics To Save US Farmland From Buildings

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been actively supporting farmers in adopting renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, with agrivoltaic projects becoming a part of their efforts. The Energy Department also supports this approach. Congress has shown support for the dual-use movement as well, introducing new legislation and providing funding and tax incentives through laws like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. Another important aspect is ensuring access to land for aspiring or under-capitalized farmers. Recently, during the Minnesota State Fair, the USDA highlighted the challenge faced by aspiring farmers in accessing farmland, especially for agrivoltaic projects. This indicates a growing emphasis on addressing such obstacles and promoting the development of agrivoltaics in the US.

Launched in 2022, the Emerging Farmers program is aimed at supporting newcomers to the US and first-generation farmers who lack access to land or financial resources. The program is particularly concerned with addressing the challenge of farmland access for these emerging farmers, as identified by the USDA. The program has expanded to include a branch called the Solar Farmland Access for Emerging Farmers initiative. This Solar Access program focuses on large-scale agrivoltaic projects, specifically those involving electric cooperatives' solar developments. Some of these cooperatives, such as Connexus, have already incorporated pollinator habitats and grazing lands into their solar projects. The Solar Access program encourages electric cooperatives to offer new farmers the opportunity to cultivate crops within their solar arrays. This initiative is backed by various organizations and the Minnesota-based Mortenson Family Foundation. However, there are opposition groups, like Citizens for Responsible Solar, spreading misinformation against rural solar development. Despite such challenges, the USDA's Solar Access program aims to leverage the support and influence of electric cooperatives, potentially making significant strides in agrivoltaic development across the US.

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9 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Hilda Wangui

    41 w

    Renewable energy is the way

    • mercy nduta

      41 w

      The integration of renewable energy solutions into agricultural practices offers unique synergies and benefits that can amplify their individual impacts.

      • Gorffly mokua

        41 w

        Renewable energy is the game changer.

        • Jane Wangui

          41 w

          @gorffly_mokua and it is relatively cheap.

          • mercy nduta

            41 w

            @gorffly_mokua Yes. It's a fundamental change in the energy system.

          • Elizabeth Gathigia

            41 w

            It's great with renewable energy there's hope and it gives restoration to our planet

            • walter lungayi

              41 w

              Renewable energy is the way to go. this reduces carbon emissions.

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