Perspectives on the Opportunities and Impacts of Solar Installation in Agricultural Areas

  • Thursday, September 28, 2023, 12:00 PM - Wednesday, November 22@ 1:15 PM

This is a 5-part series running bi-weekly from Sept. 28th to November 22nd.

Session descriptions can be found below with registration information at https://bit.ly/SolarAgSeries

Please note - there is a separate registration link for each session, so those interested can register for the individual sessions that most interest them.

In a continued collaboration between Cornell Cooperative Extension, Pennsylvania, and Farm Bureaus of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York this series of webinars will explore the continued push for development of solar energy projects in agricultural areas of the Northeast. This five-part series will address the topic from multiple perspectives and help to identify the opportunities and challenges as well as currently know best practices for integrating the need for renewable energy with other economic and social factors.

Session #1: Impacts of Large-Scale Solar on Rural Communities – A Research Perspective

Thursday, September 28th 12 pm – 1:15 pm

Research into this topic is still relatively new; however, initial studies offer some insight into how the perceptions, impacts and opportunities around solar and land use. This session will explore current finding on key issues in rural communities, decision making metrics being developed through this research and how communities can integrate these metrics. Additionally, the potential tradeoffs between energy and agriculture and emerging opportunities in agrivoltaics will be discussed.

Session #2: Solar and Agriculture – A Company’s Perspective on the Challenges and Pathways to Successful Integration of Both

Thursday, October 12th 12 pm – 1:15 pm

Developers of large-scale solar facilities are interested in optimizing the use of the land within the project footprint and continue to work to understand the opportunities and challenges of agrivoltaics, or dual use, setups. The session will also explore the key aspects of the decision-making process developers use for site selection and how they weigh these factors against impacts on land use, particularly when the location contains soil types identified as prime for agriculture production.

Session #3: A Farmer’s Perspective on Solar

Thursday, October 26th 12 pm – 1:15 pm

Farmers who have looked closely at solar electricity production on their land will discuss their experiences with developers, and their perceptions of the benefits and challenges of solar for agriculture. Discussion will include differences in the scale of solar projects, how solar might impact farmers in varied circumstances, and ideas for optimizing the benefits of and mitigating the challenges of solar for agriculture.

Session #4: A Community Perspective on Solar

Thursday, November 9th 12 pm – 1:15 pm

Expanding out beyond the impacts to individual landowners, solar develop can have broader opportunities and challenges for the rural, agricultural based communities that host them. This session will offer observations and ideas for the community level on best practices for successfully integrating solar as a land use. When it is a competing land use and when it can be a complementary land use.

Session #5: Question and Answer

Wednesday, November 22nd 12 pm – 1:15 pm

A Q&A to cover any and all of the previously presented material in Sessions 1-4 featuring the speakers from this series.

Last updated September 26, 2023