The Washington & Jefferson College Center for Energy Policy and Management will host “And On His Farm He Had... A Photovoltaic System? Where Solar And Farming Meet” - a free webinar discussing the growing field of agrisolar, or combining agricultural use with solar power generation.
The hour-long event, sponsored by PNC Bank, will begin at 11 a.m. Dec. 7 and feature Michael Roth, a Washington & Jefferson College alumnus who serves as the Director of Conservation and Innovation at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
While some see solar power and farmland as incompatible, others see it as the new normal. These polarized views can often create confusion. Additionally, solar power on farmland raises a number of critical issues like food security, climate change, and farm vitality. Fortunately, with proper planning, a happy medium can be found.
This webinar will focus on the growing field of agrivoltaics (sometimes referred to as agrisolar, dual-use solar, or low-impact solar) in Pennsylvania. The term ‘agrivoltaics’ refers to the co-location of agriculture and photovoltaic energy generation systems. An understanding of agrivoltaics is necessary as the search for land parcels that can accommodate the United States’ growing solar power sector continues.
Agriculture occupies about 43% of the lower forty-eight states’ surface area, while another 5% is taken up by roads and urban areas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To accommodate the demand for additional solar panels in order to meet the nation’s climate goals, at least some farmland will inevitably be needed. Thus, we need to identify ways to allow agriculture and solar power to complement one another.
Michael Roth is the Director of Conservation and Innovation at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. In this role, he researches, analyzes, and presents new and emerging issues to farmers and policymakers in the Commonwealth. Previously, Roth served as the Policy Director and Executive Policy Specialist at PA DOA. Roth earned his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Washington & Jefferson College.
The seminar is approved for Continuing Legal Education in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Contact the Washington County Bar Association at email@example.com for information.