Solar Energy in Agriculture – Resources

Table of Contents

Ground Mount Solar Array
Ground Mount Solar Array at Farm in Nebraska photo by F. John Hay

Websites – Solar Energy in Agriculture

  • ATTRA: Solar Energy and Directory of Energy Alternatives by state. ATTRA is the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
  •, sponsored by the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) provides information on the Energy Title programs of the Federal Farm Bill and energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that benefit farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

Understanding Solar Technology

Photovoltaics (PV), Solar Electricity

  • Toolbox: Photovoltaics. This toolbox set includes info on interconnection process, electrical codes, funding opportunities, fact sheets, economics. RENEW Wisconsin, produced/assembled by Niels Wolter of Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC) and WisconSUN.

Passive Solar

  • Passive Solar Design provides definition, considerations, commercial status, implementation issues and guidelines. From Sustainable Sources, who provide information and services related to Green Building.

Solar Water Heating

  • Solar Hot Water Introduction. An overview from National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
  • Solar Water Heaters. Basic information about solar water heating for the home. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Solar Greenhouses

  • Solar Greenhouses discusses and diagrams basic principles of solar greenhouse design, as well as different construction material options. Provides detailed resources and references. ATTRA, National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Solar Crop and Grain Drying

Solar Water Pumping

  • Solar Powered Livestock Watering Systems Introduction to solar-powered livestock watering systems, including discussions of cost, components, and terminology, as well as suggestions for designing and installing these systems. ATTRA.

Miscellaneous uses

… and maybe not so agricultural, but information may have adaptation for use on the farm.

Solar Installation Considerations

Planning, Site and Solar Resource Potential

  • Build It Solar offers free plans, tools and information for renewable energy and conservation projects for Do-It-Yourselfers.
  • The U.S. Energy Mapping System  presents an integrated picture of solar and other renewable energy resources in each U.S. Census Division. Sources of energy data are provided. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
  • NREL’s PVWattsTM calculator determines the energy production and cost savings of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world. It allows the user to easily produce estimates of the performance of hypothetical PV installations.

Find a Solar System Installer

Financing Your Solar Installation

Solar Collectors and Equipment

Government and Association Solar Sites

  • DSIRE: State-by-state listing of state, local, utility, and federal incentives, tax credits, local audits, net metering regulations, and available rebates that promote renewable energy. Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Energy (DSIRE) is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is the national trade association of solar energy industry. Site includes information about solar energy, policies, state issues, news, research, technology & products, events and education.
  • American Solar Energy Society (ASES), an association of solar professionals and advocates, is the U.S. section of the International Solar Energy Society. They publish Solar Today magazine, present the ASES National Solar Conference and organize the National Solar Tour.
  • Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is a trade group representing utilities in the solar energy arena.


Solar Policy

  • DSIRE Solar Policy Guide describes policy options adopted by state and local governments to encourage solar deployment, discusses status and trends of individual policies, provides examples of specific programs, and links to additional sources of information.

Solar Questions – Ask yours

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