Solar energy has become the talk of the town because of its immense popularity. It is getting so popular that in 2016, solar energy usage increased 50 % worldwide and it is expected to rise more in the future. Fast forward to 2021, with so many renewable energy options, it has become a trend to house a solar farm on the farmland by many small family farmers. They get to reap the operational benefits of solar farms just like many others and apparently solar farming is a bigger cash cow for them.
Solar farms offer a lot of benefits. Solar energy can help reduce water scarcity, plays a part in climate change, reduce the consumption of electricity with renewable energy option, offers clean energy to the residential and commercial building, and offer energy on the cheap prices. Among other things, solar power grids or plants can do wonders for your farmland too.
If you’re not familiar with how solar farms can change your life, here are some pointers that can help you understand why it has become a trend.
To set up any solar energy plant, you need big land. Most of the time, public lands are used but in small communities and towns, small family-owned farmlands are being used. For small farmland owners, these farmlands are their bread and butter. But nowadays, governments are allowing renewable energy solar projects to set up solar panels in farmlands because they benefit agriculture on a different level.
Agriculture is important to every country and the government’s initiatives to boost the sustainable growth of farmers is actually a great step.
The farmlands can be rented to utility-scale solar development companies so that they can set up solar farms. In return, companies offer money and solar power to small family farm owners. Such projects usually have contracts of 10 to 20 years, so there are high chances of generating long-term income. Farmers don’t have to worry about seasonal cropping as they will be getting money annually without growing any crop.
Besides that, both federal and state governments offer financial incentives to farmer families for building and maintaining solar installations on their farms such as federal investment tax credit (ITC). This tax credit allows you to fully be depreciated within the first year from your taxable income. Plus, this way farmers don’t have to pay huge taxes on their farmland.
Another way of generating long-term income through solar farms is by accepting grants. When a town doesn’t have enough funds, grants and donations are accepted. Grants are allocated from the government funds; however, donations are accepted from anyone. With this money, farmlands can have a real shot at cutting-edge technology.
If you are interested in getting the long-term income from your solar farm but you don’t know such complexities, you can hire someone who has the experience of handling reliable solar projects.
Soil decomposition is a big part of farmland. Growing, reaping, and harvesting crops and environmental changes can make the land barren. That’s why farmland needs its rest to regain fertility. Surely, fertilizers can help with that but giving a break could allow your land to become fertile again on its own.
Farmland can be used for crop production even after solar panels are removed. The thing is when solar panels are installed on a small farm, it tends to dry the crop and the land. Usually, farmers don’t grow a kind of crop when they have solar panels installed there. This could be especially beneficial for farmlands that have been used for crops for many years and needed a break. This land can be used for production after 5 to 10 years. In the meantime, there will be no damage done to the land.
Some farmers are even using the infertile land for solar farming because during solar farming the farmland gets its generational rest and gets ready for organic production.
If farmers want to grow something, it will be something that can grow under the shade of solar panels. At the same time, such small-scale solar farms might be able to use the sun to dry their crops like rice, wheat, oats, corn, and other foods. Solar farms and solar panels could offer a great place for sun-drying grains. This way the process can be done quickly, and grains will remain in quality. You can save electricity by using the sun drying method as well.
Farmlands could be different from one another even in the same area. They can’t be ranked equally. Some farmlands are great for grains, while some are great for fruit trees or vegetables. Farmers put a lot of effort and energy into farming by doing irrigation on hundreds of acres, setting up pollinator-friendly emissions in the agricultural farms. and Even with the technological advances, there are many complexities that need to be dealt with for successful farming. Considering all this, it would be alright to take a break for some years and have solar farming instead. After all, they will be generating income from the worst-producing ground without doing anything.
For solar farming, the bigger the land, the better. It is great because big land habitat the solar panels to have a little bit of space for movement. This space is necessary because insurance agencies want farmers to maintain the area in between the solar panels. If a solar panel gets damaged, it will require more money to repair or replace them. That’s why farmers need to take care of the solar panels in their farmland.