Agrivoltaics is the combined use of solar panels and agriculture under the panels that together use less energy and produce more crops. It can also provide shade for livestock. A recent article in Agritecture says this:
“In 2019, a study from the universities of Arizona and Maryland found great benefits in combining solar panels and crops. Up above, the solar panels were found to be kept 16°F cooler by evaporation from the crops below, enough to increase their energy generation by 2%.
Underneath, the few crops tested were 100% to 300% more productive depending on the species, and the shade provided by the solar panels reduced irrigation-water use by 15%, and reduced water consumption by a whopping 157 percent.
The crops are also protected from intense rain or hail from the overhead panels.” (Note that you might expect hail to damage the solar panels, but the size of hail needed to damage vegetables so they are not able to be sold is smaller than what would be expected to damage the panels, so this may be an explanation).
Jack’s Solar Farm – Photo by Werner Slocum: NREL