On May 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) announced the Foundational Agrivoltaic Research for Megawatt Scale (FARMS) funding opportunity, which will award $8 million in funding for projects that examine how agrivoltaics can scale up to provide new economic opportunities to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry. Agrivoltaics is defined as agricultural production, such as crop production, livestock grazing, and pollinator habitat that exist underneath solar panels and/or in between rows of solar panels.
Projects will conduct a range of activities, including integrated agriculture-energy impact studies examining how agrivoltaic designs impact both agriculture production and energy production. Some projects will study how agrivoltaics can integrate into existing or enable new social and economic structures, while others will develop resources that will lower the barriers of entry to agrivoltaics, making it easier for agricultural producers and solar developers to benefit from these opportunities.
SETO’s goal is to reduce barriers to the deployment of utility- and community-scale solar energy necessary to meet the Biden administration’s goals for equitably decarbonizing the electricity sector by 2035. Scaling up the co-location of solar energy and agriculture has the potential to reduce land-use conflicts and provide additional benefits to farmers, rural communities, and the solar industry.
- Required Letter of Intent: June 1, 2022
- Required Concept Papers: June 22, 2022
- Full Applications: Aug. 30, 2022