Solar solutions for farmers

Diversify your income while maintaining your agricultural activity

Farmers and rural property owners are some of our closest partners in site sourcing and development. By working hand in hand with them, we want to provide custom made energy solutions to allow them to improve their farming activities while ameliorating their resource use. We offer several solutions to help farmers reap the benefits of their land while maintaining their crops: Dual use solar, Solar greenhouses, and Agricultural solar buildings.

CVE dual use solar solution

Dual use refers to the co-location of agricultural production and electricity generation from photovoltaic panels occurring together on the same land. With this practice, farmers and solar developers can now combine their skills to produce both clean energy and food. Several methods of dual use agricultural solar production have been studied and tested notably by the U Mass Clean Energy Extension. Dual use has the potential to become a win-win-win solution for farmers, solar developers, and the planet by helping farmers diversify their income, while keeping land in agriculture and generating emission- free renewable energy.

As part of its dual use solution, CVE will design, develop, and build solar PV installations high above the ground to let an enough sunshine on the ground for the crops beneath to grow. In many cases, dual use solar farms allow crop cultivation, animal grazing and use of small farming equipment under the panels. CVE is systematically working closely with farming professionals to ensure that the solar installations will be perfectly adapted to the farming requirements.

The dual use solar agricultural solution is incentivized by the Department of Energy Resource’s Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program (SMART) that provides guidelines, tools and incentives for solar developers and farmers to develop those projects.

Benefits of dual use

Can increase the growth of shade tolerant plants in hot weather

Maintain your existing farming activities

Diversify your income by leasing your land while keeping your crops

Locally produce clean renewable energy in your community

Help reduce greenhouse gases and meet sustainability goals

CVE solar greenhouse solution

Just like standard greenhouses, solar powered greenhouse is an enclosed space made of transparent materials that meet special conditions to ensure that plants grow regardless of the season. They protect crops from extreme temperatures and hostile environmental conditions while letting in enough sunlight for the plants to thrive. However, unlike traditional greenhouses, solar greenhouses also produce their own clean electricity much needed to power greenhouse equipment such as lighting, heating, cooling, or watering tools.

Traditional photovoltaic solar panels can be integrated to the structure of a greenhouse to allow for an optimized balance between electricity generation and crop growth. This type of PV greenhouse is carefully designed to ensure that the panels are adequately located to leave enough space between them for the sunlight to reach the crops. Different types of crops require different climate conditions, and some plant may require a greater amount of sunlight. To fit the needs of those crops, there now exists a new technology of transparent solar photovoltaic panel that allows partial light to reach the plants and enhance light quality. Supplementing those transparent PV panel with traditional panel is the best way to reach maximum light transmission while producing clean energy.

CVE will work with experienced manufacturers and agricultural experts to develop a custom- made solar powered greenhouse that will fit the needs of your crops. In addition to optimizing your growing practices, your solar powered greenhouse will produce clean renewable energy that can be used to power your heating, fanning, irrigation, and other greenhouse equipment.

Benefits of solar greenhouses

  • Protect crops from harsh weather conditions
  • Reduce or eliminate plant health treatment
  • Extend growing season and plant options
  • Locally produce clean energy to power farming activities
  • Help reduce greenhouse gases and meet sustainability goals

CVE Agricultural Solar building solution

Committed to propose solutions that fit all types of farming activities, CVE also offers solar rooftop installations specifically for the needs of agricultural buildings. Many farmers require some type of agricultural building to store farm products, machinery, or equipment, or to house livestock. Those structures often consume a significant amount of energy and may require roof renovation. Installing solar panels on top of your agricultural building will take advantage of your existing property and help cover your electricity needs. In some case, CVE can also take on the renovation of your roof to ensure its long-term solidity before installing the panel. Whether you have an old agricultural building you need to renovate or you need to build a new one with integrated photovoltaic panel, CVE can provide a custom-made solution that fits the needs of your farming activities.

Benefits agricultural solar buildings

Enhance the value of your real estate in the long run with solar panels

Reduce your roof maintenance or renovation cost

Locally produce clean energy to power your agricultural building

Help reduce greenhouse gases and meet sustainability goals

Let’s discuss solar!

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