By Aaron Shier, NFU Government Relations Director
Solar energy is the fastest-growing source of new electricity generation in the United States. Due to multiple factors, including declining costs of solar energy systems and major new federal investment and tax incentives, significantly more solar deployment is expected over the next several decades. Increased solar deployment creates opportunities for farmers and landowners to earn new income and reduce their energy expenditures, while helping address climate change. But the growing footprint of solar deployment raises questions about impacts on agricultural production and other competing land-use priorities.
How do we achieve solar development in our communities that balances multiple goals and needs?
At NFU’s upcoming 121st Anniversary Convention (March 5-7, 2023, in San Francisco, CA), we have assembled a distinguished panel that will help Farmers Union members and other attendees explore the challenges and opportunities of solar development on farmland.
We hope you will join us at our national convention for this conversation on Monday, March 6, and for the rest of our exciting agenda.
This breakout session has been generously sponsored by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Solar United Neighbors (SUN), and American Farmland Trust (AFT).
- Ben Norris, SEIA, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs and Counsel
- Anna Dirkswager, TNC, Midwest Climate and Energy Director
- Emma Searson, SUN, Policy and Advocacy Campaigner
- Samantha Levy, AFT, Conservation and Climate Policy Manager
- Lissa Pawlisch (moderator), University of Minnesota Extension, CERTs Statewide Director
Learn more from about this topic and explore diverse perspectives by checking out the following resources from our breakout session partners:
- AFT’s Smart Solar webpage
- AFT’s Solar Leasing guide
Solar Energy Industries Association
- SEIA Factsheets: Inflation Reduction Act; Solar & Agricultural Land Use; Solar & Multiuse Farming
- SEIA Reports: Community Solar Project Siting; Large-Scale Solar Siting
- SUN Guide: Your Rural Business Can Go Solar: A guide to applying for a Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) grant
- SUN’s Go Solar resources for farms
- TNC Resource: Site Renewables Right
- TNC Report: Power of Place – West