URBANA, Ill. – States are working to address climate change and reduce greenhouse emissions by expanding renewable energy development. Recent models show that preferred sites — rooftops and brownfields — will not be enough to meet future energy needs.
"The siting of solar energy projects on green fields, including productive agricultural land, will be crucial for expansion," says Dennis Bowman, University of Illinois Extension digital agriculture specialist. "Agrivoltaics, the shared space of agriculture and energy production, will play a key role in meeting renewable energy goals and mandates while keeping agricultural land in practice."
A free online webinar hosted by the USDA-Funded SCAPES Sustainably Co-locating Agricultural and Photovoltaic Electricity Systems and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment will introduce the potential for dual-use practices in the Midwest. Presenters Joel Tatum of American Farmland Trust and Bowman will discuss the importance of agrivoltaic research and adoption and how smart solar siting can be utilized.
Register online at go.illinois.edu/SmartSolar. If an accommodation is needed in order to participate, please email Bowman at email@example.com. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.
ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.
SOURCE: Dennis Bowman, Illinois Extension digital ag specialist
WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, Illinois Extension marketing and communications manager