Do you have solar panels on your land? If so, you’ve probably wondered about all that ground underneath your solar panels and what you can do with it.
It’s perfectly good soil, and it just happens to have solar panels on top of it…Surely you can put it to use somehow! The good news is that you definitely can.
Agricultural solar is great for the environment and there are a number of ways to use the land under your solar panels. In this post, we’ll talk about a few that are both practical and beneficial.
Solar grazing is one method of using the ground under your solar panels that is completely green, keeps your fields nice and healthy, and can make you a little money as well.
Solar Grazing: How Does It Work?
The idea of letting animals graze around your solar panels might sound a little funny at first, but it’s quickly becoming a popular practice. For one thing, it’s a great way to keep the grass and weeds down and keep the land under your solar arrays in good shape. The way it works: farmers bring livestock, usually sheep, to solar sites and let them eat the grass around the solar panels.
This serves two purposes. For farmers that have solar arrays on their farms or who farm solar exclusively, this keeps their land clean and well kept. They can have their own flock of sheep or charge a fee to allow someone else’s animals onto their land to graze.
If you’re worried about the animals causing damage to your solar panels or the wiring, never fear! Sheep are low to the ground. They almost always keep their heads down, close to the ground, eating the grass. Solar grazing has been used for a number of years now without incidents of sheep-induced property damage to solar arrays.
Agricultural Solar: Other Uses for the Land Under Solar Panels
Solar for farms is a great way to produce energy for your farm and do something green for the environment at the same time.
But maybe you’d rather not let animals graze around your solar equipment? If not, there are a few other options for putting that ground under your solar panels to use. Just because there are solar panels on part of your farm doesn’t mean that land can’t still grow things.
Grow Vegetables Under Your Solar Panels
There are a number of vegetables that can grow perfectly fine under the shade of solar panels. Mushrooms and many root crops are a great option to grow in this otherwise unused land. Many below ground vegetables don’t sprout tall enough to interfere with solar panels.
Another, prettier option is to plant flowers and other crops that are friendly to pollinators like bees and butterflies. After all, farming wouldn’t be possible at all without pollinators!
Keep Chickens or Bees Under Your Solar Panels
Building chicken coops under your solar array is another way to make use of all that land underneath. It makes for perfect partially enclosed spaces for the chickens to rest under and lets you get even more use out of the land where you keep your agricultural solar panels.
Keeping bees is also a viable and Earth friendly choice. You can even mix beehives and pollinating plants throughout your solar site to improve the dwindling bee population and give them a place to feed. Bees can coexist quite well around solar as long as everything is properly managed.
Solar Sam: Your Go-To Source for Agri-Solar Solutions
Solar Sam is one of the fastest growing providers of agricultural solar energy solutions in the Midwest. We also proudly service the entire continental United States with some of the best brands in the industry.
Interested in learning more about solar grazing? Read this recent blog post about it.
Want to know more about what solar can do for you and your land? Reach out to us!