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Agrivoltaics (Dual-Use) Research Activities and Outcomes

Agrivoltaic array with cover crop

Impacts of Dual-Use Solar on Crop Productivity and the Agricultural Economy in Massachusetts and Beyond is a project 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-EE0009374.

Description of Site Trials

Grafton Vegetables: Research on this site includes agrivoltaic impacts on soil, microclimate, and agricultural yields for both butternut squash and lettuce crops.

Grafton Grazing: Research on this site includes agrivoltaic impacts on soil, microclimate, and agricultural yields for pasture.

Monson Hay: Research on this site includes agrivoltaic impacts on soil, microclimate, and agricultural yields for hay production.

Cranberry: Experiments on three cranberry sites anticipated in 2023 include two cranberry varieties - "Stevens" and "Howes" - over four shading regimes.

Hadley (tentative)

North Dighton (tentative)

More information about the solar projects and agricultural activities can be found in the following spreadsheet:

Solar project status

Agronomic Site Trial Research Activities and Outcomes

The following are working documents and will be prepared for public distribution in the future. Some related materials and presentations are available on the Project Advisory Committee web page.

Experimental Design for Three Solar Arrays: Agronomic Production Assessment: This document outlines the experimental design and research protocols to study the effect of three solar arrays on agricultural production. Crops studied include butternut squash, lettuce, hay, and rotational grazing. Parameters include photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), ambient and soil temperature, humidity, leaf wetness, rainfall, and soil moisture.

Soil Sampling Design & Protocols: This paper outlines the experimental design and protocol for studying soil health, including effects of the intial construction of the solar arrays as well as the impacts of the arrays over time. The sites studied include a haying operation in Monson, MA; vegetables (butternut squash and lettuce) and grazing in Grafton, MA; and additional sites in development. Data collected includes volumetric soil water content and temperature, soil moisture, compaction, and bulk density.

Sampling Protocol: Cranberry v.1: This paper outlines the protocol for researching the effect of different shading treatments as determined by inter-row solar panel spacing on cranberry production.

Information Sheet: Design and Construction of Removable Microclimate Sensor Mounts for Farm Research Sites

Economic Impact Research

The following are working documents and will be prepared for public distribution in the future. Some related materials and presentations are available on the Project Advisory Committee web page.

Agrivoltaic On-Site Cost Tracking Tool: This Excel workbook tool is designed to help future researchers and farm operations track costs and revenues from different configurations of agrivoltaic installations.

Agricultural Activities Log Book: This Excel workbook provides researchers a tool to engage with farmers to track the changes in costs associated with activities related to farming under agrivoltaics.

Project Information Dissemination

Dissemination plan for research project

General project information sheet