SolAgra Farming™ enables farmland to produce both crops and solar energy. Our innovative solar arrays are mounted above agricultural fields and share solar resources with shade tolerant crops. We are developing a 850 KW, 1.75 acre demonstration and research project.
Deploying SolAgra Farming™ boosts farm revenues by adding energy to the farmer's crop list. SolAgra Farming™ preserves desert land by developing on already developed agricultural land instead of wild desert.
SolAgra Farming™ has the potential to vastly increase the size and number of PV arrays developed in the world.
SolAgra has developed a patented design we call SolAgra Farming™, which allows for solar panels and crops to share the solar resources of the same unit of land. We do this by using a combination tracking and light passage technologies. When combined, these technologies allow the crops to get all sun that they need, while the panels above generate electricity. The solar panels will be mounted on arrays that are 17 feet above the ground to allow for large modern farm equipment to pass beneath.
Can agricultural lands support solarproduction?
Land that is good for agriculture is also useful for solar farming. It's flat and sunny and until recently, it was assumed that any sunshine you take for solar energy production is sunshine that you take away from crops. But recent research is demonstrating that crops can actually be enhanced with the right solar array. At SolAgra we have developed solar panels and arrays to specifically to allow for light passage to crops. Plant scientists at UC Davis are working in partnership with us to discover the perfect crops and light saturations for maximum crop yields. In many cases, yields can be improved with the addition of shade. To further test SolAgra Farming™ we are constructing a facility called the Ryer Island Demonstration Project.
Why put solar panels above crops?
Just as the wind industry has had success developing on farmland, we believe that PV solar can accomplish that same success. Agricultural land is generally sunny, flat and in many places is close to existing power lines and urban areas; these characteristics are precisely what constitutes good land for developing PV arrays. Also adding solar arrays on farmland will provide value to farms with a new commodity in addition to food, energy. Using already developed agricultural land also provides the added benefit of conservation of wild desert lands where solar production has traditionally been developed and proposed.