We have developed a Learning Hub to support local schools with curriculum-linked content about electricity and renewable energy.
Since Numurkah Solar Farm started operating in mid-2019 we’ve had sheep grazing happily under the panels.
Dubbo Solar Farm in NSW shows how well agriculture and solar can combine, bringing some unexpected benefits. Neoen are proud to be leading the way in ‘agrisolar’.
A short video about his experience can be found here Dubbo Agriculture and Solar Video
WHAT IS AGRISOLAR?
Agrisolar is the co-existence of agriculture and solar power generation on the same land.
All of Neoen’s solar farms including the Numurkah Solar Farm have partnerships with local landowners to graze sheep on the solar farms.
2017 PARKES TRIAL
Our first sheep grazing trial was conducted at Parkes Solar Farm in 2017 during a high rainfall and high produce year.
It was a joint exercise between Neoen, local landowners and solar construction company Bouygues.
The 3 week trial involved 400 sheep within a 15 hectares zone to help reduce dry grass under the solar panels in order to manage grass fire hazard.
It successfully showed that this combined land use had positive outcomes for farmers and solar operators.
2019 EXPERT REVIEW
By 2019 sheep grazing had begun on all five of our operating solar farms in NSW and Victoria. These activities were assessed by an independent grazier expert to document existing practices and make recommendations on how to integrate grazing into each stage of the solar farm’s lifecycle.
No change to the grazing productivity potential is expected…compared to as if the land did not host panels. This is explained by the fact that climate conditions are identical except that concentrated water occurs along the edges of the trackers with the potential of allowing for concentrated feed growth.
2019 DUBBO AGRISOLAR
Tom Warren, host landowner at Dubbo Solar Hub has been
grazing sheep on the land under the panels since 2018 and has
learnt from this experience about how to make this work well.
A short video about his experience can be viewed at the top of this page or on YouTube by searching ‘Dubbo Agrisolar’.
As pioneers of agrisolar Neoen led an industry -wide initiative to share emerging lessons on agrisolar which resulted in the development of Australia’s first Agrisolar Guide.
Our industry body, the Clean Energy Council brought together research, case studies and lessons from around the world to inform farmers, solar farm operators on ways to integrate agriculture with large-scale solar.
Download the Report here.
There are no issues with sheep-grazing co-existing with solar farms. It’s an opportunity and win-win for farmers and renewable energy producers.
Tom Warren, Land Owner
Dubbo Solar Hub in NSW