Greenskies Clean Focus is looking for farmers to participate in an exciting opportunity for co-located growing within an active solar array. The area available is prime for growers interested in sustainable farming practices and/or the emerging field of agrivoltaics (the co-location of agriculture and solar energy generation).
The parcel comprises approximately 6-7 acres within a fenced solar facility, scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2022, first growing season Spring of 2023. The anticipated service life of this solar facility is 20 to 30 years. This solar facility is a distributed energy resource that will help contribute to Connecticut's renewable energy goals and support the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU).
The site is located on an 87-acre parcel known as Treat Farm, which is zoned residential and abuts the north side of Old Tavern Road for access via a gravel road. A seven-foot-high chain-link fence will enclose the site with a locking vehicle access gate. Existing buildings and structures are not accessible for storage but other means are under consideration. Plans also include incorporating pollinator habitat as part of the solar project and placement of beehives at the project fence line.
This parcel consists of a shallow knoll that slopes mainly to the east and west, with grades ranging from 3 to 8 percent. It is classified as prime farmland soils and would be ideal for organic growth of vegetables, fruits, or other horticultural use. This land was mostly recently used for a recreational corn maze and small produce crops.
The plantable area consists of approximately 34-rows of 14-foot wide aisles between linear rows of solar panels. Planting will need to accommodate an underground conduit at a depth of 24-inches. Use of hand management techniques and walk-behind no-til tractors allowable. The solar modules will be around 10 feet above the final grade with roughly two to three feet of ground clearance. Peak sunlight hours for crops between the panels are estimated between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. (No crops are to be grown directly beneath the panels.)
Greenskies is consulting with the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on crop irrigation practices within the array. Measures could include collecting water directly from the drip edge of the solar panels or utilizing on-site stormwater basins, etc. Pesticides and herbicides may be used with permission from the landowners and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
Greenskies is interested in building relationships with local third-party farmers to grow crops within this fenced solar array. Want to learn more? We'd love to talk with you about this opportunity for agricultural with solar dual-use.
About Greenskies Clean Focus
Greenskies Clean Focus offers a full suite of renewable energy solutions to commercial, public sector, and utility energy users throughout the US. Our vertical integration delivers the most cost-competitive solar, battery storage, and low carbon solutions. From beginning to end, our customers work with a single delivery team. Greenskies originates, develops, constructs, and operates, while Clean Focus finances and owns the systems.
Founded in 2009, Greenskies has constructed and operates 270 MW of solar projects across 515 sites in 19 states. Greenskies is the solar partner of choice for landowners, municipalities, and large corporations. Our customers include 51% of Connecticut municipalities and three of the top five US corporate solar users, Amazon, Walmart & Target. In addition, Solar Power World ranked Greenskies the number one commercial solar developer in the US, based on cumulative kW of installations. For more information, please visit www.greenskies.com