If you own land but thought you couldn’t have an energy efficient solar power system because the panels would take up precious acres, this one’s for you.
There’s a new trend in the world of agricultural solar that you need to know about, called solar grazing!
More on what solar grazing is in just a bit. Plus, we’ll discuss how it can help you earn income while also saving money on your energy bills. But first, let’s just start by saying that if you own land, you can absolutely install a green energy solar power solution on your farm.
Solar for farmers is a real money saver, and of course, it’s good for the environment, too.
So, what is Solar Grazing?
The American Solar Grazing Association (ASGA) was established with the intent to bring sheep grazing back in a big way…on solar farms! Or to be more specific, they want to encourage landowners to graze sheep under their solar installations. This is what’s called solar grazing.
Why is Solar Grazing Such a Great Idea?
Solar grazing is awesome in a lot of ways:
- You can earn money by leasing your land for solar grazing under your solar arrays.
- Your land does double duty with a money-saving solar energy system in the same space that you can graze sheep.
- While cows might be too large to graze under solar arrays, sheep can easily graze under solar installations.
- There’s no harm to the animals or the solar panels.
- If you don’t want to lease your land to someone else to graze their sheep, you can invest in your own flock of sheep.
- You save money on energy bills while also making money from utilizing the same land for grazing!
- You’re being kind to the land you love while making and saving that money.
We could go on, but you get the idea. Solar grazing is a trend for a reason—it just makes (dollars and) sense!
For more information, check out these recent blogs and other great resources on agricultural solar:
- Benefits of Solar for Farms
- 5 Things Ag Customers Need to Know About Solar Panels
- Department of Energy’s Farmers Guide to Going Solar
- USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants
- Net Metering
- Federal Solar Tax Credit (Deduct 26% of the cost of your solar energy system from your federal taxes!)
Solar Grazing Isn’t for Me…How Can I Utilize the Land Around My Solar Panels?
If solar grazing isn’t interesting to you, there are still lots of options for how to utilize the land around and under your solar panels.
For instance, you can grow pollinator plants to help feed bees and butterflies! Bees are vital to humans. Without bees to pollinate them, we have no plants, trees, or crops—which means we would have no food.
So, perhaps planting pollinator plants around your solar panels is the right option for you. There’s even such a thing called “Fuzz and Buzz Solar Seed Mix” if you want to do both, pollinating and grazing, at the same time. Your land could be providing TRIPLE value!
Other options? You could also raise bees on the land around your solar installation, or even chickens. You might also have luck with growing small, shade-hardy vegetables and crops like mushrooms.
Solar Sam: Your Local Partner in Agri-Solar for Farms
Solar Sam is one of the fastest growing local solar providers and professional solar installers in the Midwest, serving the entire continental US.