Dual-Use Solar PV and Cranberry Production
Massachusetts cranberry growers and cranberry researchers are exploring opportunities to establish dual-use solar PV arrays, which could provide additional revenue from solar PV electricity production, while allowing for continued cranberry production beneath the panels.
Dual-use solar PV and cranberry systems could be built as Agricultural Solar Tariff Generation Units under the Massachusetts SMART solar incentive program.
Dual-Use Information - Fact sheets and resources from UMass Clean Energy Extension
Cranberry Growth under Solar Panels - Fact sheet from UMass Cranberry Extension
Wetland Protection Act Rules regarding Solar Development on Cranberry Bogs - Policy guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association - Members can also access solar PV guidance through the CCCGA website
Giverson Mupambi, Extension Assistant Professor at the UMass Cranberry Station, is pursuing new research to understand how solar PV panels affect cranberry growth and productivity. This year, a pilot project using plywood sheets as stand-ins for solar panels will be providing preliminary data on how shading from solar arrays could affect canopy microclimate, plant physiology, yield, and fruit quality. The experiment is set up over a site populated with the ‘Stevens’ cultivar.
If you are a cranberry grower or solar developer interested in conducting research on crop growth and productivity at a solar facility, feel free to reach out to Giverson Mupambi, or contact Zara Dowling (email@example.com, 413-545-8516) at UMass Clean Energy Extension.