From a recent investment article on REITs and their legal guardrails for solar power generation, a very interesting technology surfaced within the investor comments (typically the most valuable area of a good investment post). There are two parts of this but both integrate farming and solar power generation.
The first one is the simple to understand with livestock grazing around / beneath the solar panels and all consumable components would need to be ‘livestock proof’ … but the farm of panels can continue to produce agricultural value as well.
The second one is a recent technology that seems to have surfaced in 2007 – WSPV – Wavelength-Selective PhotoVoltaics. (Here’s an accessible article on the technology – license Creative Commons). The key is that the panels filter out specific spectrum bands. That way, the panels are translucent and allow plant required light to pass thru; though, a bit shady so shade-loving plants like leafy vegetables work great.
The commentator who sourced the agricultural examples referenced an NPR story on the topic. They provide several examples and reference the name coined by University of Arizona, “Agrivoltaics”.
Pic sourced from NPR article