In September 2022, American Farmland Trust (AFT), Edelen Renewables, and Arcadia launched a partnership to combat climate change by advancing Smart SolarSM. The project, Farmers Powering Communities, aims to protect America’s most productive farmland and ranchland while expanding equitable access to renewable energy. Adding to the team’s combined prowess, Aggreko Energy Transition Solutions (AETS) joined as a strategic partner in May 2023, further strengthening the initiative’s capacity to make significant strides in the renewable energy sector.
Farmers Powering Communities will advance community scale solar projects of 25 to 50 acres to provide green energy to the two-thirds of Americans, including many low and moderate income families, who don’t have access to rooftop solar. The goal is to create 500MW of community solar capacity in five years.
AFT’s Smart Solar principles will guide the location of projects to prioritize solar on buildings and land not well suited for farming like the built environment and disturbed, contaminated, and marginal lands to minimize conversion of our nation’s most productive, versatile, and resilient farmland.
Solar projects on farmland will emphasize agrivoltaics that sustain agricultural production underneath solar panels and/or between rows of solar panels throughout the life of the project.