Oregon State’s University’s Vegetable Research Farm is working on an interesting project referred to as dry farming. Dry farming is growing crops without irrigation, something that’s going to be more important going forward as Oregon sees hotter and drier conditions. As they work on dry farming, they’re adding an important element – solar panels – testing the viability and potential of agrivoltaics. Agrivoltaics pairs agriculture with solar power production on the same piece of land. Combining the two offers a number of benefits, the plants are less stressed which means they need less water, and the panels add extra revenue for the farm. The upfront investment is bit, but the payback in the investment is approximately 17 years.
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