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Solar panels and agriculture can be mutually beneficial

A story in Morning Ag Clips earlier this week discussed the increasing combination of solar power generation and agriculture by some US farmers. The practice of co-locating the two by planting crops under the shade of solar panels is called agrivoltaics. Underneath the solar panels, cooler and moisture conditions can reduce stress on crops and there is still enough diffuse sunlight to not impede plant growth, especially in summer months when the sun is high in the sky. The cooler temperatures also improve the efficiency of the panels, which don’t work as well if they are too hot. You can read more at https://www.morningagclips.com/solar-panels-cast-shade-on-agriculture-in-a-good-way/.

The researchers test the heat and moisture under the solar panels to study the cooling relationship between the crops and panels. (Greg Barron-Gafford)