close-up of solar panel

West Virginia University to Study Cattle Grazing with Solar Panels

West Virginia University announced that it received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study how incorporating solar panels on small cattle farms can pay off in energy production and farm sustainability. As part of a collaboration with Appalachian Renewable Power (ARP), the University will be researching soil, grasses and cattle around agrivoltaic systems, while ARP will perform design and installation. Lead researcher Matt Wilson says solar technology can help diversify a farm’s income stream and may appeal to young farmers. Wilson will use a system he developed for measuring feed intake, water intake, and beef herd performance to study animals as they graze under solar arrays. The project will also monitor impacts of dual-use solar on soil health.
Related NCAT resource: AgriSolar Clearinghouse