Jack’s Solar Garden is a family owned social enterprise doing more with our family farm for the betterment of our community. Through our partnerships with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado State University, and the University of Arizona, Jack’s Solar Garden will put valuable research into the public sphere on co-locating solar panels with agriculture – called agrivoltaics. Partnering with Sprout City Farms enables the cultivation of crops at Jack’s Solar Garden to put food back into our community while training young farmers on agrivoltaic techniques.
As the first, but not last, of our kind, Jack’s Solar Garden is educating the next generation through regular school tours under our solar panels via the Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center. Farmers, government officials, and the public are invited to tour our premises to help disseminate the possibilities agrivoltaics can offer our society.
With the innovativeness and openness we offer, we hope to inspire our community to support local farmers as they embark on creative paths to better our community with locally produced foods and solar power. We plan to continue pushing the envelope of what our kind of agrivoltaics is and what other around the world could do to better use land within solar arrays.
Tours for school kids will be provided to teach the next generation how energy and food can be produced side-by-side.
Supporting our neighbors
2% of our electricity will be donated to low-income households through the Boulder County Housing Authority to enable ~10 homes to receive free electricity bill credits for the next 20 years.
Jack's Solar Garden sees incorporating people into the space under our solar panels as essential to get people comfortable with solar technology and the idea that agriculture can be mixed within it. In the end, it's just space under all our panels. Space that can be used to entertain, educate, and eek at a modest living.
Supporting our bees
Audubon Rockies will establish their largest Habitat Hero, a large pollinator habitat of 1,800+ shrubs, bushes, and trees, around the perimeter of our solar array to help feed the local birds and bees.
Promoting local artists
An annual stipend will be available to local artists to illustrate the significance of our project to our community.
Pushing the envelope
About a quarter of our nation's land is rangeland for cattle. Much of that land is here in the West with limited water and great solar potential. Figuring out the best ways to incorporate cattle into solar arrays should be at the forefront of our Department of Energy & Department of Agriculture so that rangeland can sequester more water in the soils, cattle can enjoy a reprieve from our hotter summers, and society gets the clean energy we need.
Photo by Werner Slocum/NREL
Photo by Werner Slocum/NREL