Jack's Solar Garden offers a venue for weddings, corporate dinners and retreats, happy hours, and more. Reach out to email@example.com for more information and share what type of event you're interested in on our land.
Upcoming public events arranged by the Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center can be found at: www.coagrivoltaic.org/upcoming-events.
Farmers and Landowners:
The first step to an agrivoltaic system is figuring out if a solar array makes financial sense and will be allowed in your area. It is strongly recommended you follow these first steps to see if it will be possible to build a solar array on your land:
1) Will the local government allow a solar array installation on your land based on zoning / land use codes?
2) Is your land flat and devoid of trees, subterrean rock, and neighboring properties with tall trees or structure that'd shade your land? Is your land adjacent to a three-phase or high-tension power line, and within a few miles of a substation?
3) Will the local utility allow you to interconnect your solar array to their grid?
4) Do you have the funds to build your own system or do you need a tax equity investor if you are to build it yourself or are you willing to lease your land to a solar developer?
5) Can you earn enough via electricity sales, renewable energy credits sales, and tax credits to make the project economically feasible? This requires knowing if the utility will make you wholesale the electricity and the renewable energy credits to them, or if you can build the system behind the meter for a large offtaker, or can you sell your electricity as a community solar garden to various local clients.
If you answered in the affirmative to the above questions, you have the opportunity to build a solar array on your land and therefore the opportunity to do more with the land under your panels for agrivoltaic purposes.
Jack's Solar Garden Developments can support you through assistance with working with your local government and community, advising on the design of the solar array system and plausible construction techniques, selecting solar array designers / builders, and networking to find the right people to help your project progress as quickly as possible.
Solar Developers / Asset Owners:
There is always an opportunity to do more with the land within your solar array, be it an existing one or one in planning. The main points I share about designing a solar array that enables agricultural activities include:
1) Raise the panels as high as you can. Vegetation needs space to grow and low-leading edges will result in vegetation shading your solar panels. Low panels make it hard for people, animals, machinery, and tools to be put to work within the solar array. The taller the panels, the safer it is for those on the ground and less likely to have agricultural accidents with the solar panels.
2) Clean, tight wire management. Hanging wires are a bane to agricultural workers, animals, machinery, and the use of tools as any of these could easily be caught in them causing damage to the solar array and to person or animal in contact with the wires. The higher, tighter, and well tucked away your wires are from any people, vehicles, animals, or tools, the safer everyone is.
3) Don't grade your land. The moment you grade your solar array site, you create a hard pan like an asphalt driveway. All vegetation will struggle to establish themselves here and the vegetation that is established will likely not be what you wanted. Adding a thin layer of topsoil only masks the hard pan created by grading as roots of vegetation will only be able to grow in that small top dressing and not be able to push through the hard pan. If left bare, dirt will emit CO2 as dirt is bacterial dominated and all bacteria do are reproduce and respire (breathing out CO2). Don't degrade lands within solar arrays as isn't the point of solar to reduce greenhouse gases and do right by our environment?.
Jack's Solar Garden Developments can advise on strategies to work through agrivoltaic designs, construction practices, O&M considerations, working with communities and land governments, and help in finding those interested in using the available land.
Contact Byron Kominek, firstname.lastname@example.org to start up discussions.