Solar on Farmland- Opportunities and Considerations in NW WA

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Mikulak, Kathryn

Aug 24, 2021, 6:07:52 PM8/24/21
to SJC Farm and Food Listserv, Digest recipients

Solar on Farmland- Opportunities and Considerations in NW WA

When: Thursday, Sept 23rd, from 6:30-8pm

Where: Online via Zoom

Registration: Free! Click here to register:


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Chad Higgins Oregon State University, Biological and Ecological Engineering 

Addie Candib American Farmland Trust

With special guest from Rainshadow Solar & Energy Solutions, Inc.


Moderated by Faith Van De Putte, San Juan County Agricultural Resources Committee 

Hosted by WSU San Juan County Extension and SJC Agricultural Resources Committee 


“Agrivoltaics provide a rare chance for true synergy: more food, more energy, lower water demand, lower carbon emissions, and more prosperous rural communities,” -Chad Higgins


In the face of climate change and development pressure, Northwest Washington needs both solar power generation and increased protection of agricultural land. Agrivoltaics are an emerging strategy that incorporates photovoltaic arrays into agricultural systems. Join us on Thursday, Sept 23rd, from 6:30-8pm via zoom to learn about the opportunities, considerations and nitty gritty details. We’ll take a look at some pros and cons of adding solar to a farm operation, offer some considerations for where and when to site solar on a farm, and discuss what to include in your decision making tree as you think about adding solar arrays to your farm or land. We’ll also hear about the impact of solar on agricultural ecosystems, the opportunities it provides, and a brief overview of the costs of installation and incentives that are available. Pre-registration is required. This presentation is geared toward farmers and agricultural land owners, although all are welcome. 


Addie Candib oversees American Farmland Trust’s programs in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. For 40 years, American Farmland Trust (AFT) has advocated for saving the land that sustains us by protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Recognizing the conflicts between farmland protection and renewable energy development, AFT has recently turned its attention to smart solar siting program design and policies in New York, New England, and the Pacific Northwest.


Chad Higgins is an associate professor at Oregon State University in the Biological and Ecological Engineering department. He leads the Nexus of Energy, Water, and Agriculture Laboratory (NEWAg Lab) whose research focuses on resource tradeoffs and sustainability within agricultural systems. His recent work has focused on Agrivoltaics, the mutually beneficial combination of agricultural and solar energy production. This work has received national acclaim and was highlighted as #5 on the National Science Foundation’s most impactful projects of 2019.



Kate Mikulak

Agriculture Program Coordinator

WSU Extension | San Juan County

office | 360.370.7664


WSU Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of non-compliance may be reported through your local Extension office or to the WSU Center for Human Rights.


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