Exploring a next-level ecosystem

As a result of our ongoing, interdisciplinary research, we believe that secure, sustainable agriculture and energy production can occupy the same place—and both can benefit. Check out more of the work we do by reading about our facilities and demonstration sites, and accessing our fact sheets, white papers, publications, and more.

Our Mission

There are growing demands for food and renewable energy. Illinois, Arizona, and Colorado, among many others, are seeing increased photovoltaic deployment, and these regions also have strong agricultural communities. The SCAPES Research Team aims to reducethe competition for land by determining how to efficiently co-locate photovoltaic and agricultural systems in a variety of different biogeographical regions.

Additionally, water resources in the West are dwindling. Our research seeks to maximize water utilization and management in agrivoltaic systems by integrating climate-smart agricultural practices into our systems. Early results suggest that agrivoltaic systems can reduce the amount of water used for irrigation and can help direct rainfall to where it’s most needed.

We need regionally-derived solutions to make widespread agrivoltaic deployment effective. Much of the existing research is done at case-study sites across the world, so the opportunity to do a study that spans multiple climates is an exciting one.

Through our cross-country collaboration and coordination of measurements, modeling, and economic analysis, the SCAPES Research Team will seek regionally-derived sustainable solutions.


Our Goals

Our research team has four primary tasks:

  1. Coordinate the design of a suite of experimental agrivoltaic arrays and measurement systems across regions
  2. Determine crop and photovoltaic performance within an integrated agrivoltaic system
  3. Incorporate regional results into an integrated model that is capable of conducting structural, electrical, thermal, agricultural, water management, and economic outcomes
  4. Integrate stakeholder perceptions of agrivoltaic system design and share model outputs through open-source tools for informing planning and development

Research Teams

The SCAPES Research Team is led by Greg Barron-Gafford.

Our agrivoltaics research is split up into three branches: Crop Physiology, Solar Panels, and Modeling

Crop Physiology

Solar Panels