Solar Farms Are a Great Match for Agricultural Communities
The solar industry has experienced incredible growth in recent years, creating thousands of jobs across the country and contributing millions of dollars in new tax revenue and investment within local communities. Solar can be sited on private property close to energy demand, minimizing the amount of costly transmission infrastructure that must be built to supply clean power to populated areas.
Solar projects can be located alongside many existing land uses, including: commercial and manufacturing sites, landfills, airports, managed timberland, and agriculture land. When agricultural land hosts a solar farm, local farmers reap benefits from the stable income diversification. Combining traditional agricultural production with the stable solar lease payments makes farms more resilient to shifts in the market price and yield of agricultural products. Solar farms also help protect and preserve agricultural land for the future farming generations.
Utility-scale solar sites undergo rigorous environmental, cultural resource, power grid, and other analyses to ensure proper siting. These siting criteria greatly limit the farmland that is appropriate for solar development.
When the project reaches decommissioning, all equipment is removed and the land will be restored to its condition prior to the construction of the solar farm including the replacement of prime soils and topsoil. Ranger develops a custom landscaping plan for each of our solar projects while working collaboratively with local farm bureaus and commissions to establish soil management plans to ensure minimal impact on agricultural soils.
Only a portion of land is taken up by solar panels within a solar farm. This creates several dual land use opportunities. Livestock grazing, re-introducing native pollinators, and increasing overall biodiversity, are just a few of the many opportunities involved in diversifying land use while enhancing overall productivity.
Ranger Power engages with community stakeholders early in the development process to ensure that our projects reflect the goals and values of the host community. We incorporate community input into our project design, leading to many unique project characteristics, including: prime agricultural soil decommissioning plans developed in collaboration with local farm bureaus and commissions, inclusion of wildlife corridors through our project site to ensure that sensitive habitats are preserved and even strengthened during the project lifespan, and preservation of areas used for outdoor recreation.
The power from projects is being injected to the regional electricity grid. This will help meet renewable energy requirements and have a direct positive effect on all ratepayers by offering in-state, cost effective, and reliable clean energy.
Our approach has led to support from many municipal governments and elected representatives who appreciate our focus on local engagement. The American Farm Bureau Federation understands the unique value renewable energy delivers to rural communities.
The Federation supports solar because of the economic, environmental, and national security benefits derived from
renewable energy development.