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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Global Change and Photosynthesis Research » Research » Research Project #441212

Research Project: Optimizing Agrivoltaics for Sustainable Food-Energy-Water Systems

Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research

Project Number: 5012-21000-030-034-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

Objective:
The objective of this research is to conduct an integrated systems analysis of the extent to which agrivoltaics can mitigate the tradeoffs between food, energy and water while increasing the economic resilience of the agricultural sector coupled with innovative techniques for education and engagement of the public, next generation of decision makers and farmers.

Approach:
Our approach will integrate engineering of photovoltaic (PV) panel design and placement for optimizing land equivalent ratio (LER), measurement of ecosystem effects, modeling of agricvoltaics (AV) research with outreach through field demonstrations, interactive workshops, farmer surveys and focus groups, and educational activities for all ages, including web tools, experiments, and interactive museum displays. This research will address the 2018 Farm Bill priority areas 5 and 6 by advancing the science and technology of combining solar energy with farming to provide economic benefits to rural communities.