Agrivoltaics: From Farm Fields to Rooftops

Co-locating the cultivation of food crops and solar panels allows farmers to garner benefits from two synergistic systems. Can we produce food and electricity on the same acre? Taking it further for urban areas by putting it on a rooftop is called rooftop agrivoltaics. See a TEDx talk on the concept by the faculty mentor:

Agrivoltaic growing systems are still in their infancy and require further investigation to evaluate the feasibility of growers producing both crops and energy in the same space. One of the primary benefits of these systems is that solar panels shade (or partially shade) crops so that there is reduced temperature variability in the production system as compared to typical field conditions. Solar panel performance also improves because of the evaporative cooling that the plants provide.

Therefore, the intern on this project would assist a graduate student in screening horticultural crops for use in rooftop agrivoltaic systems. Additionally, the Extension aspect will include a project that describes the subject, identifies applications, addresses costs and benefits, and reports current data by distributing the new information to stakeholders.

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