Farmers and ranchers across America are diversifying their land use to generate extra income.
One source of revenue has taken off . . .
Adding solar arrays to your farmland creates a mixed-use arrangement called agrivoltaics.
They provide an excellent way to supplement your energy needs and earn passive income while continuing your farming operations.
Let’s explore several agrivoltaic solutions successfully working across the country.
1. Use Raised or Pitched Solar Panels to Shade Crops
Too much direct sunlight can harm certain crops in open areas, such as flat, desert spaces.
Therefore, you may need to create shaded areas to plant crops that need protection from overexposure to direct sunlight.
According to a study published in 2019, planting crops in the shade of solar panels provides a helpful solution.
Even better, the benefits are mutual.
Solar panel performance declines when they become too hot, but plants provide localized cooling as water evaporates.
2. Provide Shade for Animals with Large Solar Panels
Plants aren’t the only living organisms on your farm that could use some shade.
Several studies have documented farmers’ and ranchers’ loss when their animals die from heat stress.
In the summer of 2011, for example, a record heatwave reportedly claimed the lives of 64 people and thousands of cattle.
So, how can you use solar panels to provide enough shade for your animals without expensive installations?
You can use large solar arrays facing south or southwest to reduce heat exposure, so your animals have shade from the direction that matters most.
3. Climate-Proof Your Farm Income Agrivoltaic Solutions
The farming industry will never go out of business.
People need to eat, and someone grows the food to make it happen.
Even so, as you know, running a farm is expensive.
Climate change realities have also introduced new challenges to growing crops successfully.
At least, for now, one thing that remains constant is the Sun.
Our brilliant energy source provides an excellent opportunity to diversify your income and gain some insurance against dwindling crops.
This is because a solar array pads your bottom line regardless of how your crops perform.
4. Leverage the Tax Benefits of Agrivoltaic Solutions
As a farmer and business owner, you are eligible for tax deductions and tax credits.
Another one you should add to your list is the federal solar tax credit.
Your state or local government agencies might also have green energy tax benefits or other incentives you can take advantage of.
The solar tax credit reduces the overall cost of installing your solar arrays, which can help you break even on the investment even faster.
Note that this option is only available if you own the solar array.
If a power company installed it on your property or you offered your land for community solar farming, the benefits available would be different.
Consult with an experienced accountant to determine your best option.
Diversifying Your Income with a Trusted Partner
Are you ready to find out what agrivoltaic solutions might work best on your farm?
Contact our team to discuss your options!
We’re here for you from start to finish with lifetime support.