Neighborhood photo voltaic developer Lightstar Renewables has joined forces with the American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) mission to guard farmland, promote sound farming practices and preserve farmers on their land.
By means of this partnership, AFT will use its Sensible Photo voltaic rules to lend experience and steering to Lightstar on coverage innovation, analysis and farmer engagement to speed up agriculturally suitable photo voltaic power growth, strengthen farm viability and safeguard land well-suited for farming and ranching. Lightstar goals to empower farmers to transition to extra regenerative agricultural practices and undertake agrivoltaic photo voltaic — built-in farming and photo voltaic — in states comparable to New York, Maryland and Illinois.
There are compounding threats to farmland throughout the nation. Between 2001 and 2016, residential and industrial growth consumed 11 million acres of agricultural land. One other 18 million acres might succumb by 2040 in a business-as-usual situation. Local weather change and excessive climate occasions makes farming and ranching more difficult, with AFT’s analysis exhibiting a major swath of rainfed agricultural land will probably be much less more likely to assist present rising programs by 2040. Moreover, the US is in the course of a historic intergenerational switch as hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland change arms as right now’s senior farmers retire, making it weak to growth.
“We’ve got a duty as photo voltaic builders to not simply transfer swiftly in the direction of the clear power transition, however we should additionally take critically the land impacts our tasks can have,” stated Lucy Bullock-Seiger, VP of technique at Lightstar. “Photo voltaic doesn’t must exacerbate farmland loss, and our partnership with American Farmland Belief demonstrates our dedication to land stewardship and most significantly to maintain farmers farming.”
Agrivoltaics provide a way to handle these threats. The transition to renewable power is important to assist handle local weather change. Agrivoltaics permit for farming and power manufacturing to co-exist, preserving farmland in farming. The agrivoltaics mannequin can lower water utilization and enhance soil well being whereas selling financial development inside native communities via farm viability, power invoice financial savings and job creation, driving the clear power economic system of tomorrow. AFT’s Sensible Photo voltaic rules goal to speed up the technology of photo voltaic power however provide a blueprint for photo voltaic growth that maximizes local weather mitigation whereas minimizing impression on productive farmland and strengthening alternatives for farmers.
“The agriculture business has a pivotal alternative to speed up its clear power transition, whereas enhancing farm and meals safety,” stated Ethan Winter, AFT’s nationwide Sensible Photo voltaic director. “We’re excited to accomplice with Lightstar on this journey to unlock alternatives from agrivoltaics.”
Lightstar’s dual-use photo voltaic tasks permit for power manufacturing along with crop cultivation and livestock grazing in and across the photo voltaic array. Farm homeowners internet hosting these tasks earn a long-term and common stream of revenue and farmers managing the agricultural operation obtain a stipend to maintain the land in manufacturing. These tasks additionally present tax income for native municipalities, assist residents cut back their power payments and improve power independence and grid safety. AFT supplies agricultural landowners with the instruments and expertise to make knowledgeable choices about photo voltaic growth.
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