Agrivoltaics and zoning tax break

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Analyzing the Impact of Utility?scale Solar Installations on Local Government Revenue in Counties Across North Carolina:

Abstract: Data analysis on over 100 utility scale solar projects in over 50 counties across North Carolina shows that solar farms increase county taxes derived from the land on which the projects are constructed by approximately 1,000?10,000%. If the current state tax abatement on lands with solar energy electric systems were to go away, counties would receive five times the current amount of tax money from these projects; however, solar companies would not be able to absorb these costs and would be unable to sustain themselves profitably. If these companies went bankrupt, the incremental increases from agriculturally zoned to commercially zoned that counties are benefitting from would be eliminated. The current state tax abatement of 80% is critical to solar companies continuing to thrive at both the state and county level in North Carolina and allows counties across the state to benefit from increased property taxes coming in as local government revenue

  • As of 2008, North Carolina has exempted 80% of the appraised value for solar energy systems from property taxes. This applies to commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural sectors.

Abstract: This report aims to understand the policy and regulatory landscape surrounding solar siting in the United States in the past, present and looking towards the future. The scope of this analysis includes siting for photovoltaic (PV) solar projects at utility-scale for the U.S. local,

state, and federal levels. For the purposes of this report, utility-scale solar is defined as electricity produced by solar generation that is fed directly into the U.S. grid rather than directly used for on-site electricity demand. The background section comprises of a literature review, case studies on state narratives related to U.S. solar siting, an analysis of state-specific interviews, and a glossary of current U.S. state policies for siting solar with a discussion of the glossary's findings and trends. Policy reviewed found that some states' siting policies refer to energy projects or general transmission and siting, which by extension applies to solar. Therefore, solar siting authority is often consistent with current literature on wind siting

authority, but some key differences exist across states.

  • In the US, permits for solar siting are often approved on federal and privately owned lands
  • New York created the office of Renewable energy siting. This office has the jurisdiction to override local laws in the event they are burdensome to solar development. Currently, in Cambria, New York there is a utility scale solar development (100 megawatts) project going up on 900 acres of land

Zoning for Solar Energy : Resource Guide: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=environmental

Abstract: This document was created to help New York State localities develop and adopt solar friendly policies and plans. It begins by presenting the local government’s role in land use planning and regulation and introduces common characteristics of “solar friendly” communities. The resource then describes how municipalities should begin a solar energy initiative through an official policy statement that provides support for solar energy and that authorizes a task force to shepherd the process, appropriate studies, training programs for staff and board members, inter-municipal partnerships, and outside funding sources. Next, the document explains how municipalities should engage the entire community in the solar energy initiative process to ensure support for the initiative and its implementation. Finally, the resource presents local planning best practices that communities can incorporate into their comprehensive plans, subarea plans, or other plans. Throughout, this document provides helpful resources and examples that communities can use to develop effective solar energy policies and plans

In the state of New York:

  • Zoning ordinance: a solar system is regarded as "primary use" when most of its energy is consumed offsite
  • It is regarded as "accessory use" when most of its energy is consumed onsite
  • It is regarded as "secondary use" when some of its energy is consumed onsite and some is shipped offsite
  • It is regarded as "special use" when the system needs to meet specific requirements to limit negative effects on adjacent properties and the community


Agrivoltaics provide mutual benefits across the food–energy–water nexus in drylands: https://energy.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Barron-Gafford%20et%20al%20Nature%20Sustainability%202019.pdf

Abstract: The vulnerabilities of our food, energy and water systems to projected climatic change make building resilience in renewable energy and food production a fundamental challenge. We investigate a novel approach to solve this problem by creating a hybrid of colocated agriculture and solar photovoltaic (PV) infrastructure. We take an integrative approach—monitoring microclimatic conditions, PV panel temperature, soil moisture and irrigation water use, plant ecophysiological function and plant biomass production within this ‘agrivoltaics’ ecosystem and in traditional PV installations and agricultural settings to quantify trade-offs. We find that shading by the PV panels provides multiple additive and synergistic benefits, including reduced plant drought stress, greater food production and reduced PV panel heat stress. The results presented here provide a foundation and motivation for future explorations towards the resilience of food and energy systems under the future projected increased environmental stress involving heat and drought.

  • The colocation of pv panels and food production can increase the overall performance of solar pvs. An experiment carried out in Tucson, AZ prove a 3% increase in generation between the months of May - July and a 1% increase in generation annually


Efficient use of land to meet sustainable energy needs: https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2556

Abstract: The deployment of renewable energy systems, such as solar energy, to achieve universal access to electricity, heat and transportation, and to mitigate climate change is arguably the most exigent challenge facing humans today. However, the goal of rapidly developing solar energy systems is complicated by land and environmental constraints, increasing uncertainty about the future of the global energy landscape. Here, we test the hypothesis that land, energy and environmental compatibility can be achieved with small-and utility-scale solar energy within existing developed areas in the state of California (USA), a global solar energy hotspot. We found that the quantity of accessible energy potentially produced from photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) within the built environment (a compatiblea (tm)) exceeds current statewide demand. We identify additional sites beyond the built environment (a potentially compatiblea (tm)) that further augment this potential. Areas for small-and utility-scale solar energy development within the built environment comprise 11,000-15,000 and 6,000 TWh yr â '1 of PV and CSP generation-based potential, respectively, and could meet the state of California's energy consumptive demand three to five times over. Solar energy within the built environment may be an overlooked opportunity for meeting sustainable energy needs in places with land and environmental constraints.

  • Slope and access to transmission infrastructure are limitations to small and utility-scale solar development.

Approaches to land use planning and zoning among Michigan's local governments: https://landuselaw.wustl.edu/Articles/Michigan%20Zoning%20Report.pdf

Abstract: This report presents the opinions of Michigan’s local government leaders on issues related to land use planning and zoning, including use of master plans and capital improvements plans (CIPs), staff or external contractors associated with planning and zoning, perceived benefits to land use planning, and more. These findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in the Fall 2017 wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS).

  • Large scale solar arrays are an issue of debate in Michigan counties, townships, cities and villages
  • Farmland preservation is an issue of debate in Michigan counties, townships, cities and villages

LEGAL ASPECTS OF SOLAR ENERGY: STATUTORY APPROACHES FOR ACCESS TO SUNLIGHT: https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/ealr/vol10/iss1/2/

  • In Missouri and Washington, the "solar rights" statues declare an easement to fuel a solar panel as property right that can be transfered to adjoining property owner (solar rights can be purchased)
  • The prior appropriation statue in New Mexico guarantees permanent right to unobstructed sunlight for any individual that erects a solar system
  • The California solar shade control act declares solar obstructions (greater than 10% of solar panel surface) such as planted vegetation as public nuisance
  • Iowa the Solar Access Regulatory Board review (administrative allocation for solar easements) solar energy users' applications for solar access easements.n

Utility-Scale Solar in the Great Lakes: Analyzing Community Reactions to Solar Developments. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1677: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/4/1677

Abstract: In the coming years, it is expected that reliance on utility-scale solar projects for energy production will increase exponentially. As a result, communities throughout the Midwest will become potential solar facility hosts. Previous research has sought to identify factors that influence community support and opposition to solar developments throughout the country. This paper builds upon prior research by examining community perceptions about the economic, environmental, local and global impact of solar projects in four Great Lakes states using a content analysis of local newspaper articles. Ultimately, this paper identifies the most common perceptions of solar facilities and offers some preliminary suggestions on strategies to mitigate the most prevalent concerns.

  • In the Great Lakes states (MI, WI, MN & IN), the dual use of prime agricultural land and utility scale solar development is perceived as beneficial if it increase income and revenue stability for farmers.
  • In June of 2019, Michigan amended its Farmland and Open Space preservation program to allow for utility scale solar development
  • Brwonfields are perceived as potential places for utility scale solar development
  • Land zoned for industry is perceived as a potential place for utility scale solar development


Agrophotovoltaic systems: applications, challenges, and opportunities. A review: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13593-019-0581-3

Abstract: The expansion of renewable energies aims at meeting the global energy demand while replacing fossil fuels. However, it requires large areas of land. At the same time, food security is threatened by the impacts of climate change and a growing world population. This has led to increasing competition for limited land resources. In this context, the combination of photovoltaics and plant production — often referred to as agrophotovoltaic (APV) or agrivoltaic systems — has been suggested as an opportunity for the synergistic combination of renewable energy and food production. Although this technology has already been applied in various commercial projects, its practicability and impact on crop production have hardly been investigated. In this review, we give a short summary of the current state of the art and prospective opportunities for the application of APV systems. In addition, we discuss microclimatic alterations and the resulting impacts of APV on crop production. Our main findings are that (1) crop cultivation underneath APV can lead to declining crop yields as solar radiation is expected to be reduced by about one third underneath the panels. However, microclimatic heterogeneities and their impact on crop yields are missing reference and thus, remain uncertain. (2) Through combined energy and crop production, APV can increase land productivity by up to 70%. (3) Given the impacts of climate change and conditions in arid climates, potential benefits are likely for crop production through additional shading and observed improvements of water productivity. (4) In addition, APV enhances the economic value of farming and can contribute to decentralized, off-grid electrification in developing and rural areas, thus further improving agricultural productivity. As such, APV can be a valuable technical approach for more sustainable agriculture, helping to meet current and prospective needs of energy and food production and simultaneously sparing land resources.

  • arid regions (Southern Europe, South China) with high solar radiation could be great locations for agrivoltaic systems in terms electricity production and synergistic effects on crop production
  • agricultural systems that make use of supporting structures such as hop growing, horticulture, viticulture and intensive fruit production combined with solar development can provide great economic benefits that might outweigh yield loses

Wind, sun, and wildlife: Do wind and solar energy development 'short-circuit' conservation in the western United States?:https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab8846/pdf

Abstract: Despite the trade-offs between renewable energy development, land use, humans, and wildlife, wind and solar development continues to transform the western US into a green energy landscape. While renewable energy reduces carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, many studies have emerged on the associated ecological and social impacts of this technology. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the nexus between wildlife conservation and energy development in the western US since 2010. We revisit pertinent ecological concepts presented in earlier reviews to assess how far the field has progressed in mitigating negative effects. Specifically, we examine: (i) recent trends in the literature on how wind and solar energy development impact wildlife in the US, (ii) how siting and design of development may maximize energy benefits while minimizing negative effects on wildlife, (iii) the availability and benefits of before-after control-impact studies, and ultimately (iv) how impacts of renewable energy development on wildlife may be mitigated. We also provide case studies on the desert tortoise and greater sage-grouse, two conservation-reliant umbrella species in the western US, to highlight efforts to mitigate the effects of solar and wind energy development, respectively. We recognize that many other species are affected by renewable energy development, but desert tortoises and sage-grouse are representative of the conflicts that need to be addressed. Our review concludes that mitigation can be improved via use of spatial decision support tools, applying novel wildlife deterrence and detection systems developed for existing installed facilities, and incorporating impact studies that provide managers with conservation metrics for evaluating different future development land-use scenarios.

  • Brownfields and contaminated industrial sites are favorable for utility scale solar development in light of avoiding or eliminating negative impacts to wildlife


Low-impact land use pathways to deep decarbonization of electricity: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab87d1/pdf

Abstract: A growing number of jurisdictions are passing ambitious clean energy policies. Yet few studies have accounted for natural and agricultural land impacts of low-carbon pathways and how environmental siting constraints affect electricity costs and technology choices. To address this gap, we developed an integrated land-energy planning framework to examine the land use trade-offs of renewable energy development required to achieve ambitious clean energy goals, using the state of California as a case study. Using high-resolution ecological and agricultural datasets for 11 Western U.S. states, we modeled environmentally-constrained onshore wind, solar photovoltaic, and geothermal potential and used an electricity capacity expansion model to build generation portfolios for 2050. Here we show that California can meet its targets, but the technology mix, spatial build-out, and system costs are sensitive to land protections and availability of out-of-state renewable resources. Results suggest that failure to consider land availability in energy planning could increase uncertainties, environmental impacts, and risks in meeting subnational climate targets.

  • California climate targets goals are highly sensitive to environmental siting protections
  • Integrated land use and effective energy planning would prove to address siting constraints for renewable energy development

Solar-permissive model zoning ordinances: Rationale, considerations, and examples: https://www.crcog.net/vertical/sites/%7B6AD7E2DC-ECE4-41CD-B8E1-BAC6A6336348%7D/uploads/Solar_model_zoning_ordinances_pbecker_12.20.19.pdf

Abstract: This policy recommends the adoption of uniform zoning and land development ordinances across Centre Regional Council of Governments municipalities, with specific language permitting the construction of small solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, as a cost-effective method to facilitate private investment in solar electricity generation. Increased rates of PV installation supports the Climate Action Plans of both the Centre Region Planning Agency and the State of Pennsylvania, creates landowner opportunity to invest in sustainable development, and helps increase resiliency in times of electricity interruption and disaster. In anticipation of future interest in solar PV installations, Centre Regional Council of Governments should propose a model zoning ordinance to facilitate such installations and to reduce potential legal challenges due to unclear or non-existent policies. The model ordinance should clearly define the components of such a system, define permissible use, and address other possible concerns, such as aesthetic considerations and impervious coverage.

  • This study covers Centre county, Pennsylvania known as Centre Regional Council of Governments (COG): State College Borough, College Township, Harris Township, Halfmoon Township, Ferguson Township, Patton Township, and includes non-voting representatives from The Pennsylvania State University and the State College Area School District (97,000 citizens)
  • In Pennsylvania, zoning ordinances are permitted by local municipalities
  • The Center regional planning agency suggests that solar PV zoning should focus on: clear definitions of solar components, permit small solar arrays in all land-use zones and consider them accessory usage, remove aesthetic restrictions,Reduce permitting fees and requirements (while maintaining adopted construction and safety codes), account for changing technologies by regulating installations based on impact and size rather than kilowatt production.
  • PV panels in COG municipalities have to prove low-reflectivity as a zoning requirement
  • Patton township allows solar power for primary use (utility scale) and also accessory use. However, solar projects requires permitting as well as construction permit from COG
  • Ferguson township in its Terraced Streetscape District allows increases in height for solar PV as an incentive
  • Cumberland county has a well detailed zoning ordinance for solar power. It permits accessory and primary solar energy systems (defined by energy output in kilowatts). It also outlines the decommissioning process

Approval procedures for large-scale renewable energy installations: Comparison of national legal frameworks in Japan, New Zealand, the EU and the US: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2019.02.013

Abstract: This paper analyses the commonalities and variances of environmental approval procedures in four OECD territories, Japan, New Zealand (NZ), the European Union (EU), and the United States (US). In order to streamline regulatory approval frameworks for large-scale renewable energy (LS-RE) installations, outlining the strengths, as well as the weaknesses of the current systems in place, is crucial in determining what components to alter in line with national and regional particularities. The jurisdictional juxtaposition facilitates the identification of administrative burdens, which could increase environmental review-related costs for developers and prolong the entire approval process. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) frameworks, a major component of the LS-RE approval process, suffer from administrative fracturing between the local, regional, and national levels as well as between various government agencies. In combination with strong reservations from local civil society stakeholders, the results revealed some of the flaws of the current LS-RE project approval systems in place. The EIA frameworks and reform efforts in all four jurisdictions illustrate the importance of consolidated and comprehensive frameworks to reduce the amount of planning uncertainties for developers. Utilising regulatory tools such as mandatory timeframes, scoping, clear screening thresholds and priority assessment categories for LS-RE projects, could result in robust EIA processes based on unified regulatory procedures for climate change mitigating energy projects, inside as well as outside of OECD jurisdictions.

  • Siting and permitting regulations of large scale renewable energy installations in the United States differ from state to state

HARVESTING THE SUN ON MARYLAND FARMLAND: LOCAL ZONING RESTRICTIONS FOR SOLAR FIELDS:http://web.a.ebscohost.com.services.lib.mtu.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=72281049-5cfe-4d5b-a072-4607249d2967%40sdc-v-sessmgr01&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3D%3D#AN=132801156&db=lft

  • In Anne Arundel, Caroline, Baltimore, Wicomico, Dorchester, Cecil and Frederick counties restrict solar fields on agricultural land through zoning standards. The zoning standards in these counties limit the amount of prime agricultural soils that can be disturbed for solar projects, impose a cap on the total acreage available for solar farms, impose a cap on the number of facilities in each council district and restrict development in environmentally sensitive areas (animal habitat, greenways etc.)

Agrivoltaic systems to optimize land use for electric energy production: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.03.081

Abstract: A simulation platform to simulate crops under agrivoltaic was developed. • Shading under agrivoltaic improves soil water balance and increases water saving. • Agrivoltaic conditions increased and stabilized yield of rainfed maize. • Agrivoltaic doubled renewable energy land productivity. A R T I C L E I N F O Keywords: Agrivoltaic Modeling Land use efficiency Photovoltaic panels Maize Biogas A B S T R A C T A system combining soil grown crops with photovoltaic panels (PV) installed several meters above the ground is referred to as agrivoltaic systems. In this work a patented agrivoltaic solar tracking system named Agrovoltaico®, was examined in combination with a maize crop in a simulation study. To this purpose a software platform was developed coupling a radiation and shading model to the generic crop growth simulator GECROS. The simulation was conducted using a 40-year climate dataset from a location in North Italy, rainfed maize and different Agrovoltaico configurations (that differ according to panel density and sun-tracking set up). Control simulations for an irrigated maize crop under full light were added to results. Reduction of global radiation under the Agrovoltaico system was more affected by panel density (29.5% and 13.4% respectively for double density and single density), than by panel management (23.2% and 20.0% for sun-track and static panels, respectively). Radiation reduction, under Agrovoltaico, affected mean soil temperature, evapotranspiration and soil water balance, on average providing more favorable conditions for plant growth than in full light. As a consequence, in rainfed conditions, average grain yield was higher and more stable under agrivoltaic than under full light. The advantage of growing maize in the shade of Agrovoltaico increased proportionally to drought stress, which indicates that agrivoltaic systems could increase crop resilience to climate change. The benefit of producing renewable energy with Agrovoltaico was assessed using the Land Equivalent Ratio, comparing the electric energy produced by Agrovoltaico cultivated with biogas maize to that produced by a combination of conventional ground mounted PV systems and biogas maize in monoculture. Land Equivalent Ratio was always above 1, it increased with panel density and it was higher with sun tracking than with static panels. The best Agrivoltaico scenario produced twice as much energy, per unit area, as the combination of ground mounted PV systems and biogas maize in monoculture. For this Agrivoltaico can be considered a valuable system to produce renewable energy on farm without negatively affecting land productivity.

  • An agrivoltaic system refers to a system of growing crops under solar Pv (usually 4m above ground)
  • Crops that are shade tolerant such as lettuce seem to adapt very well with solar Pv as they are able to grow wider leaves
  • Agrivoltaic is heavily constrained by policies to avoid competition with food production and to maintain land natural aesthetic
  • Research (Majudmar & Pasqualetti) suggest that agrivoltaic is suitable for periurban areas
  • This study investigated the production of maize under partial shading from solar Pv using the "Agrovoltaico" system
  • It also investigated energy and crop production under different solar Pv configuration using Sci lab computing software (software that couples radiation and shading)
  • Agrivoltaic reduce soil evapotranspiration and has the potential to increase crop yield
  • The economic advantage of coupling agricultural activities and solar pv supersedes using land only for agricultural activities

The potential of agrivoltaic systems: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.10.024

Abstract: In order to meet global energy demands with clean renewable energy such as with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, large surface areas are needed because of the relatively diffuse nature of solar energy. Much of this demand can be matched with aggressive building integrated PV and rooftop PV, but the remainder can be met with land-based PV farms. Using large tracts of land for solar farms will increase competition for land resources as food production demand and energy demand are both growing and vie for the limited land resources. This land competition is exacerbated by the increasing population. These coupled land challenges can be ameliorated using the concept of agrivoltaics or co-developing the same area of land for both solar PV power as well as for conventional agriculture. In this paper, the agrivoltaic experiments to date are reviewed and summarized. A coupled simulation model is developed for both PV production (PVSyst) and agricultural production (Simulateur mulTIdisciplinaire les Cultures Standard (STICS) crop model), to gauge the technical potential of scaling agrivoltaic systems. The results showed that the value of solar generated electricity coupled to shade-tolerant crop production created an over 30% increase in economic value from farms deploying agrivoltaic systems instead of conventional agriculture. Utilizing shade tolerant crops enables crop yield losses to be minimized and thus maintain crop price stability. In addition, this dual use of agricultural land can have a significant effect on national PV production. The results showed an increase in PV power between over 40 and 70 GW if lettuce cultivation alone is converted to agrivoltaic systems in the U.S. It is clear, further work is warranted in this area and that the outputs for different crops and geographic areas should be explored to ascertain the potential of agrivoltaic farming throughout the globe.

  • Competition for land remains a hindering factor to agrivoltaics especially in densely populated and mountainous regions. Moreover, the world's population keeps increasing
  • Intercropping is the stepping stone for agrivoltaics
  • Dupraz et al have been able to prove that agrivoltaic can increase yield of crops as compared to conventional mono cropping
  • Agrivoltaics also works in greenhouse settings
  • Incentives for agrivoltaic seem to be lacking
  • To promote crop growth, agrivoltaic system tilt angle could be adjusted automatically to accommodate crop growth and ensure optimum electricity output
  • Agrivoltaic works well with shade tolerant crops, there is a need to study agrivoltaic and shade tolerant crops (morphology) other than lettuce

Conceptual Design and Rationale for a New Agrivoltaics Concept: Pasture-Raised Rabbits and Solar Farming: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.124476

Abstract: Land-use conflicts created by the growth of solar photovoltaics (PV) can be mitigated by applying the concept of agrivoltaics, that is, the co-development of land for both PV and agricultural purposes, to commercial-scale solar installations. In this study, we present a conceptual design for a novel agrivoltaic system based on pasture-fed rabbit farming and provide the technical, environmental and economic analyses to demonstrate the viability of the concept. Included in our analysis are the economic advantages to the PV operator of grazing rabbits at a density sufficient to control vegetative growth, thus reducing the economic and environmental costs of mowing; the dual-revenue stream from the sale of both rabbits and electricity, contrasted with estimates of the capital-investment costs for rabbits co-located with, and also independent of, PV; and the economic value to the rabbit farmer of higher colony-growth rates (made possible by the shading and predator protection provided by the PV arrays and of reduced fencing costs, which are the largest capital cost, by being able to leverage the PV systems for rabbit fencing. We also provide an environmental analysis that suggests that rabbit-PV farming is a pathway to a measurable reduction in agriculturally-generated greenhouse-gas emissions. Our calculations indicate that the co-location of solar and rabbit farms is a viable form of agrivoltaics, increasing overall site revenue by 2.5%e24.0% above projected electricity revenue depending on location and rental/ ownership of rabbits, while providing a high-value agricultural product that, on a per weight basis, has significantly less environmental impact than cattle.

  • Solar pv in pollinator friendly sites in Minnesota , and emu farming with solar pv in australia supported by incentives such as SMART in Massachusetts have the potential of generating technical, economical and environmental benefits
  • This study finds that a solar rabbit could sell for $45
  • Rabbit fur can be sold for $5/rabbit
  • Electricity generation per acre from a 30-degree tilt angle - 314 Kw pv array can produce 381 MWh - 432 Mwh per year

Applying a Relationally and Socially Embedded Decision Framework to Solar Photovoltaic Adoption: A Conceptual Exploration. DOI:10.3390/su13020711

Abstract: Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy technology can play a key role in decreasing the amount of carbon emissions associated with electrical energy production, while also providing an economically justifiable alternative to fossil fuel production. Solar energy technology is also extremely flexible in terms of the size and siting of technological development. Large scale PV farms, however, require access to large tracts of land, which can create community-scale conflict over siting solar energy development projects. While previous scholarship offers frameworks for understanding the mechanisms at play in socio-technological system transitions, including the renewable energy transition, those frameworks fail to center community priorities, values, and concerns, and therefore often do not provide an effective means of addressing community conflict over solar siting. This paper provides a conceptual exploration of how a proposed framework can guide decision making for solar development across multiple scales and settings, while also illuminating the potential barriers and bottlenecks that may limit the potential of solar energy development to occur in scales and forms that receive community acceptance and at the pace necessary to address the greenhouse gas emissions currently contributing to the rapidly changing global climate.

  • Centering energy policy in cultural, economic and community priorities could prove to drive the acceptance of solar technologies
  • To advance the acceptance of agrivoltaics, local governments can use the zoning process to create height restrictions and land use requirements

Productivity and radiation use efficiency of lettuces grown in the partial shade of photovoltaic panels:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2012.08.003

Abstract: Combining photovoltaic panels (PVPs) and crops on the same land unit were recently proposed as an alternative to the conversion of cropland into photovoltaic plants. This could alleviate the increasing competition for land between food and energy production. In such agrivoltaic systems, an upper layer of PVPs partially shades crops at ground level. The aim of this work was to (i) assess the effect on crop yield of two PVPs densities, resulting in two shade levels equal to 50% and 70% of the incoming radiation and (ii) identify morphological and physiological determinants of the plant response to shade. Experiments were conducted on four varieties of lettuces (two crisphead lettuces and two cutting lettuces), during two seasons. In all cases, the relative lettuce yield at harvest was equal or higher than the available relative radiation. Lettuce yield was maintained through an improved Radiation Interception Efficiency (RIE) in the shade, while Radiation Conversion Efficiency (RCE) did not change significantly. Enhanced RIE was explained by (i) an increase in the total leaf area per plant, despite a decrease in the number of leaves and (ii) a different distribution of leaf area among the pool of leaves, the maximal size of leaves increasing in the shade. Our result provides a framework for the selection of adapted varieties according to their morphological traits and physiological responses to PVP shade, in order to optimize agrivoltaic systems.

  • Lettuce can compensate for shading due to pas by adjusting its morphology to harvest light more efficiently: (1) increasing total plant leaf area, (2) optimizing leaf area arrangement