American Farmland Trust’s (AFT) Smart Solar in Connecticut project builds on several years of strategic engagement with solar and agricultural stakeholders in New England and the Northeast. Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy defines goals to mitigate environmental impacts of energy use, which includes rapidly expanded renewable energy programs through more robust policies, legislative actions, and best practices.
The expansion of solar energy in CT, both distributed generation and large-scale projects, presents opportunities and challenges for landowners, farmers, local communities, and policymakers alike. To keep farms viable and to protect the remaining 347,100 acres of CT farmland, rigorous planning, smart solar policies, and community engagement will be needed to inform solar development.
This report summarizes findings from a statewide farmer survey, roundtables with state agencies and solar developers, and expert input from AFT’s project advisory committee. In addition, the report provides high-level recommendations for advancing Smart Solar in Connecticut with an eye toward farmland protection, market incentives, and cross-sector collaboration to advance dual use/agrivoltaics on farmland.