America is on the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Solar programs are an integral component to the federal plan, backed by a significant financial investment. Counties across Nevada have received almost 100 solar plant applications in total. Solar projects are coming to our state and rural counties. How can we ensure that it will be good for our communities? Agrivoltaics may hold the answers.


What is Agrivoltaics?

Agrivoltaics is a dual or shared land use strategy that utilizes the same area of land for two purposes: solar operations and agricultural operations. Under solar panels, farming or ranching occurs. 

While renewable solar energy is generated, agricultural products include:

  • Livestock
  • Grass and forbs
  • Bees
  • Variety of crops

How Does It Work?

Solar energy generators, agricultural producers and researchers have found agrivoltaics to be a symbiotic relationship, where both do better together! How?

  • Crops reduce solar panel temperatures, increasing their efficiency.
  • Solar panels provide shade for plants, reducing their water requirements. Shade provides protection to livestock and farm workers too.

Are There Benefits?

Intentionally planned Agrivoltaic projects can be designed to provide shared community value.

  • Power generation
  • Jobs & economic development
  • Industry diversification (resiliency)
  • Possible EV charging station infrastructure
  • Social & civil infrastructure
  • Create new agricultural lands
  • Affordable agricultural land leases
  • Increase in local ag producers & products
  • Potential for conservation applications
  • Additional revenue for current ag operators

Local Benefits and Impacts

There are many potential benefits to local communities permitting agrivoltaics operations.

  • Renewable power generation can be for local use or negotiated for others.
  • Increase jobs related to the solar plant (construction & maintenance).
  • New local support business development for solar panel manufacturing, repair, recycling, food tourism, cottage food, food preservation, artisans.
  • Diversify frontier industries beyond mining and tourism – building resiliency to weather the “bust” cycles of mining.
  • State planning and local community development agreements could require social and civil infrastructure to address issues surrounding medical access, child care, housing, roads, fire, EMS.
  • Affordable land leases to local producers, reducing the barriers for new producers and land competition. The price of land is an obstacle for agricultural entry.