The Financial Impact of Co-Locating Agricultural Production and Solar Power Generation

Rosa Isabella Cuppari
Farms across the US have been consolidating in the face of shrinking margins while experiencing increasing competition for land use. The co-location of solar power production and agriculture, known as agrivoltaic systems, may be an effective compromise, as it can both supplement farmers' incomes and stabilize revenues. A model is developed to stochastically generate weather variables and commodity prices to conduct an analysis comparing net revenues for a solar only plot, a farm only plot, and
more » ... n AVS plot. In the case studies considered (Oregon/North Carolina, alfalfa/soybeans/strawberries), co-location substantially increases farmers' annual net revenues (~250-5,500%). In the case of more financially variable crops (e.g., strawberries), co-location can reduce variability and improve 5th percentile net revenues by 49-55%. Compared to federal crop insurance, co-location provides larger revenue support but smaller risk management benefits. Regardless, co-location shows promise in benefiting farmers' net revenues while also contributing to a low carbon future.
doi:10.17615/t15w-ry75 fatcat:zaab6nlmlzahlihpv7syvs4mje