Solar power in Homer Alaska

Agrivoltaics: Harvesting from Land and Sun

Agrivotaics is the shared use of land for agriculture and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy generation. University of Alaska Fairbanks, together with solar developer Renewable IPP and Alaska Pacific University’s Spring Creek Farm, will research the combined usage of land for both solar energy production and agriculture.

This project will investigate opportunities for farmers, mid-market solar power developers and rural communities to maximize shared economic benefits and efficient use of land for clean energy production and sustainable food production in northern and rural North America.

Using an 8.5-megawatt (MW) solar PV array in rural southcentral Alaska collocated with different high-value agricultural and food-bearing crops as the testbed, this work seeks to reduce land use conflicts and provide additional benefits to farmers, rural communities and the solar industry.

By developing an economic model for solar collocated agriculture, we will provide opportunities for land cost savings to farmers, improving their agriculture’s overall economics. Pairing agricultural activities with mid-market solar power projects and lowering the levelized cost of energy provides a unique opportunity to expand deployment of solar energy production in underserved communities.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Solar Energy Technologies Office Award Number DE- EE0010442.