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Solar PV and Agriculture

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is in the process of finalizing a new solar photovoltaic (PV) incentive program, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program.

The regulations for SMART include incentives for dual-use systems, in which solar PV panels producing electricity are interspersed with crops on continually farmed agricultural land.   For the purposes of SMART, these systems are termed Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units, and are further regulated by a draft guideline.

UMass Extension is named in the regulation as a resource to farmers and developers in the development of dual-use agricultural plans. CEE is actively working with UMass Agricultural Extension, DOER, and Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resource (MDAR) to develop tools and guidance for those considering dual-use PV systems. If you are being contacted by solar development companies about building arrays on your land, or just have interest or questions about this new regulation, please contact River Strong at CEE: gcstrong@umass.edu, (413) 545-8510 ext. 2.  We will also be posting factsheets and information on this page, as they become available.