Smart solar siting policies and programs can encourage solar development on land where it has the least impact on agriculture and the environment. Key approaches include siting on previously developed land (e.g. rooftops and brownfields), siting on the least productive soils on agricultural land, or “dual-use,” which integrates solar infrastructure in such a way that active agricultural production can continue on the site.

Learn about the Issue

Several states are working to address climate change by setting ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse emissions. A key part of the solution, states will need to expand renewable energy development which puts our agricultural land at risk. Recent models show that preferred sites—rooftops and brownfields—will not be enough to meet future energy needs. Therefore, the siting of solar energy projects on greenfields, including productive agricultural land, will be crucial for expansion.

Smart solar siting happens at the state, community, and farm level. Read the resources below to learn more about the issues and successful strategies, or click a tab to find resources organized around key stakeholder groups.

  1. Approaches to Balancing Solar Expansion and Farmland Preservation, Cornell University Extension
  2. Farms Under Threat: The State of the States
  3. Farms Under Threat: A New England Perspective