The Maryland state government has committed itself to hitting 50% renewable energy by 2030. Using farmland to help harvest solar energy offers a path to sustainable income and energy.
Howard County recently announced the signing of an agreement with CI Renewables to construct and operate solar panels at no cost to taxpayers; the county is set to later pay for the power generated by the panels. This new agreement is part of the solar plan announced by Howard County earlier this summer.
“‘This fits what I’ve been working on since we got in — becoming leaders on combating climate change,’ County Executive Calvin Ball (D) said in a recent interview. ‘It helps ensure that we have clean solar power here — and we’re setting an example. It really is leading the way for the state’” (Maryland Matters).
According to the family who owns and operates the Triple Creek Farm, they will still be able to use the land occupied by the solar installation for agriculture. CI plans to install agrovoltaic solar panels which sit six feet above the ground. While the use of solar on farms remains a controversial issue, new technologies and government policy are make harvesting the sun, along with crops, a real option for farmers.