Agrivoltaics Resource Centre
In partnership with EnergyCo
One of the greatest risks to our energy transition stems from land use conflict, where solar developments are contested over claims of reduced food security and the use of prime ag land for energy production. Opponents also raise concerns about stranded irrigation equipment, loss of top soil from grading, visual impacts, weed banks, erosion risks to neighbours and impacts on local economies and supply chains from loss of agricultural productivity.
Agrivoltaics (or Agri-solar) refers to co-locating agricultural activities with large scale solar developments. This could be grazing sheep or cattle between panels, cropping, horticultural crops, creating pollinator habitat or free range chicken farming.
However, adoption has been slow in Australia. Knowledge gaps, technical and economic impediments, poor planning and a lack of clear policy guidance at development stage have hindered uptake.
Farm Renewables Consulting with key collaborators Progressive Agriculture, the German Fraunhofer Institute and farmer Tom Warren and through funding from EnergyCo, are developing an Agrivoltaics Resource Centre (ARC).
The ARC will be an online tool, designed using an evidence based data set, collected through a series of workshops. This would be the only dynamic and interactive agrivoltaics resource for the Australian context. It would act as a one-stop-shop for farmers, developers, researchers and provide useful information, case studies, research, links to international webinars and articles and advertise ag friendly suppliers and demonstration days.
Indicatively, the ARC platform could include;
Resources and case studies from Australia and globally.
Mentoring. Ability to link farmers of those already participating in agrivoltaic practices to those new to the field.
Link to events and Conferences.
A supplier directory.
Fact sheets such as on fertiliser application, agronomy of shading on crops, appropriate pasture species in different conditions, livestock management options, layouts, virtual fencing, optimal panel type etc
Connect uses with specialists in the industry as well as with international suppliers and experts.
Information on open days or demonstration sites.
Best practice guidance for agrivoltaics in Australia.
Read the report here
 Y. Elamri, B. Cheviron, J.-M. Lopez, C. Dejean, and G. Belaud, Agricultural Water Management 208 (2018).