What the heck is agrivoltaics?

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The meeting of food production and solar power off the same acre has a name — agrivoltaics.

It’s both a new term and a new concept, still in the beginning stages of an industry in Canada. While new, early adopters and research alike point to some real benefits of marrying power and food production, contrary to assumptions made about “nothing” growing under solar panels.

From veggies and wheat, to lambs and calves, the food grown under solar panels can vary depending on the region and the opportunities. There is plenty of interest in expanding the concept, and a new organization is looking to link renewable energy companies with researchers and farmers.

Patrick Gossage is the founding president of Agrivoltaics Canada, the brand new not-for-profit organization looking to move the concept forward.

Solar sites are not without controversy, Gossage says, however the proof-of-concept both in greenhouses and on the grazing landscape is already making a strong case for solar and food production to work together instead of either/or.

Agrivoltaics Canada will host its second annual conference in December to bring together farmers, academics, and power companies to further expand food production under solar panels.

Listen below (or download the podcast for later) for my conversation with Patrick Gossage, including a discussion how agrivoltaics is already working in Ontario: 

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