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Experts in the field: Agriculture and solar working together

The mutually beneficial relationship between solar energy and agriculture can take many different forms. Farmers can continue to work their land while diversifying their revenue. In some cases, livestock welfare can be increased as solar panels provide shade and protection from predators. Pasture quality and availability can be increased on solar grazing projects. Soil health and carbon content can also improve, particularly if the new dual land use replaces more intensive agricultural activity, thereby allowing the soil to recover while keeping the land productive.

As a global leader, Lightsource bp is progressing partnerships and agrivoltaic initiatives across the world. We have partnerships with farming associations in the UK, we are progressing agrivoltaic sites in Italy and advancing solar grazing in the United States and in France. In Taiwan, we are even developing a solar fish farm.

In this video two of our team members in the field discuss how hay baling on our solar farms provides a win-win situation for farmers and the climate.

Haybaling on a UK solar farm video

Milly Thwaites is a land manager for Lightsource bp and says: “When the site is designed it’s very much in the mind of it continuing to be a working farm and so we work with the landlord from the off to get the orientation of the panels where they’d like, how much space they’d like to move around with machinery. The sheep actually prefer it because they’ve got shade so they can hide away from the elements underneath.”

Kai Williams is a ground service maintenance operative for Lightsource bp and says: “I think it’s really important that we’re agriculturally focused at Lightsource bp. The farmer can graze sheep here, we can produce feed for the sheep in the winter months, and we can produce our electricity while creating sustainable habitats for the local wildlife. It’s also a great added income for the farmer to reinvest in his farm.”

Find out more about agrivoltaics and our other sustainability initiatives.

Thanks to Shroders Greencoat, the owner of this Lightsource bp developed solar farm, for their support in producing the video.

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