The term “agrivoltaics” was coined several decades ago but is just now gaining traction in the farming community.
It means to farm the land where solar panels collect renewable energy. “Farming” may take the form of hosting bee hives and pollinator plots; allowing sheep or cattle to graze beneath the panels; or using unshaded portions of solar arrays for food production.
A recent agrivoltaics project was approved in McLeod County that could serve as a model for similar projects across Minnesota and elsewhere.
The project was proposed by SunShare Community Solar, along with McLeod County farmer Donald Engelman, TangleTown Gardens of Plato, owned by Don’s brother, Dean Engelman, and bee owners Ames Farm and Red Hive Honey.