Sheep Grazing Under Solar Panels on this New Haven Vermont Farm

With the proliferation of solar energy generation throughout Vermont, interest in on-farm solar generation has grown. For many communities, this has raised concerns about loss of valuable farm land and impacts to the visual landscape.

Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission worked with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets and the Center's Pasture Program to come up with recommendations for how to balance the needs of community and farm-scale energy needs with a shared commitment to protecting agricultural lands.

The team met with farmers and planners to come up with a plan to guide land use planners, farmers, and agricultural service providers in their planning and decision-making. That guide is now available so that "local planners can protect primary agricultural soils (often referred to as "prime ag") and the working landscape as a matter of town policy by acknowledging and promoting on-farm solar and active agricultural use on the same land."

Pollinator-Friendly Solar Resources

Land under and around solar arrays can be planted with pollinator-friendly vegetation: a benefit to agriculture, clean energy, bees and birds.  Learn more here

 

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Woodcut of a farm with people gathering produce and cows grazing

Project Team