Solar Energy Farm Business Plan

A growing number of farms and agricultural businesses are looking to solar to power their daily operations.

Most solar panels have a glass front that protects the PV cell and an aluminum or steel frame.

Research shows that “leaching of trace metals from modules is unlikely to present a significant risk due to the sealed nature of the installed cells.”Some solar modules use cadmium telluride (Cd Te).

A 2017 comprehensive survey of all solar and bird interactions in the UK determined that “bird collision risk from solar panels is very low.

There is likely to be more of a collision risk to birds presented by infrastructure associated with solar PV developments, such as overhead power lines.”Solar modules require the use of other electrical equipment, such as inverters and connection boxes, which emit some noise.

Two states (MN and MD) have already developed pollinator-friendly solar certifications to promote planting of pollinator habitat that can benefit local farms.

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In addition, solar can provide several benefits to agricultural land managers that may offset capital costs of installing solar: Herbicide is currently sprayed around some solar modules to prevent weed growth. Care should be taken to not spray modules themselves, but if it occurs the modules can be washed off with water as they are made of glass and steel or aluminum and have been designed to withstand outdoor conditions. Solar can offset power required for pumping and provide power to remote irrigation systems, requiring no grid connection.Consider these questions to help you determine what’s best for you and your farm.Silicon-based PV cells are the most widespread solar photovoltaic technology used.One study found that shading from solar modules produced lettuce crop weight equal to or greater than lettuce grown in full sun.Yes, however, if desired, a security fence can keep out larger animals if they are deemed to be a damage risk to the modules.Nonetheless, avian injuries and mortalities may occur through collisions with power lines, vehicles, fencing, and solar equipment and structures such as modules.There are some concerns that birds might misconstrue solar installations for bodies of water and attempt to land on them, but this has not been proven.One study found that air temperature, humidity, and crop temperature under modules was similar to conditions of full sun.This study found that soil temperatures at night under the modules was less than that of soil temperatures in full sun all day.Sheep are commonly are being used for grazing for vegetation control at solar facilities in the United States and Europe as sheep do not climb on or harm the modules.Raising the PV modules in height is not necessary to accommodate grazing as vegetation is accessible beneath the modules at standard heights.


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