skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Air pollution linked to coal plants more deadly than previously thought; Israel-Hamas truce extends as aid reaches Gaza; high school seniors face big college application challenges.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

House Republicans differ on January 6th footage, Speaker Johnson says any Ukraine funding must include changes to border policy and former New Jersey Governor Christie says former President Trump is fueling anti-Semitism and hate.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural low income youth, especially boys, experience greater economic mobility than those in cities, a new government rule should help level the playing field for small poultry growers, and the Kansas Governor wants her state to expand Medicaid.

Growing veggies with a side of solar cuts emissions, boosts land access

play audio
Play

Thursday, September 28, 2023   

The arrival of fall has farmers transitioning to the harvest season, but what if some gathered their crops with rows of solar panels right alongside them?

Minnesota is part of such emerging projects. The agrivoltaics scene is carving out pathways for utilities and developers to reduce carbon emissions by adding more solar farms, while allowing emerging farmers, who face land-access issues, to grow fruits and vegetables on the same property.

Brian Ross, vice president of renewable energy for the Great Plains Institute, said it is a great example of two worlds working to benefit each other.

"We're all working together to kind of take that example of local food production and try to expand it out. How can we actually put this at scale?" Ross asked. "How can we do it within the context of existing solar-development parameters?"

As they track the effectiveness of smaller projects, Ross noted they need to figure out certain logistics, such as the ideal height of the solar panels. Other partners say irrigation is another puzzle to solve. The Minnesota project involves the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Connexus Energy, U.S. Solar and Big River Farms. On a solar site just outside the Twin Cities, aspiring farmers are testing adding horticultural vegetation.

Sophia Lenarz-Coy, executive director of The Food Group and Big River Farms, said the pilot initiative can especially help historically disadvantaged farmers.

"Farmers of color, women farmers, folks who have a harder time accessing capital," Lenarz-Coy pointed out. "This is one of the biggest barriers that we see is wanting long-term land access but maybe not having the capital to purchase land."

She added farmers often end up signing leases for property but it makes it harder to grow their operations under short-term contracts. The solar site provides hope in establishing more certainty for producers and the vision they have for their food-growing venture.

Project leaders say another thing they hope to learn is the difference between crops grown underneath and around solar arrays versus crops grown in the open.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Based on current environmental impacts, residents of Petersburg have a life expectancy 10 years lower than the national average, according to U.S. News & World Report. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan extending a natural-gas pipeline in Virginia. The Virginia Reliability Plan and Transcot's …


Social Issues

play sound

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when millions of Americans are expected to make charitable donations. But it can also be a field day for scammers…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Starting Friday, North Carolinians will have greater access to health care as the long-awaited Medicaid expansion is launched. Medicaid will …


Democrats' trust in the media has fallen 12 points over the past year, to 58%, and compares with 11% among Republicans and 29% among independents, according to Gallup. (Christian Schwier/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new project in Southern Arizona aims to support local reporting and enable greater access to local news and information. Earlier this month…

Social Issues

play sound

As the weather turns colder, two groups of people in one North Dakota city that are generations apart appear to be in good shape to navigate housing …

Social Issues

play sound

Illinois high school seniors have new hurdles to overcome to get to college. High school students are waiting several extra weeks to get their hands …

Environment

play sound

Missouri's duck-hunting season runs through January, and many enthusiasts are concerned about how plentiful their future quarry will be because of a …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021