8am, Friday 22 March

Farming with the Sun: Exploring Agrivoltaics from a Farming Perspective


8am, Friday 22 March



Hosted by:

Victoria University of Wellington


This webinar was held at 8amFriday 22 March

The integration of farming with solar energy generation continues to draw interest as farmers and rural communities consider the opportunities and challenges that this might bring. Following the significant interest in our first webinar on agrivoltaics as part of the Our Land and Water Rural Professional project in September last year, we are running one final webinar, this time with a focus on the practicalities of agrivoltaics from a farming perspective.

We are very excited to have several farmers from around the world join us on this webinar to tell us about their experience to date and share insights learned.  There will be a Q&A session, with questions welcomed from the audience following the speaker presentations.

Webinar Speakers:

Rob Hodgkins: Rob, and his wife Jo, run 2200 Romney ewes across 320 ha of semi-improved grassland and solar panels, farm 800 ha of arable crops and milk 300 dairy cross ewes around North Hertfordshire, England.  Rob and Jo are both Nuffield scholars, and Rob visited Aotearoa New Zealand as part of his Nuffield scholarship in 2013 and continues to have strong connections with Aotearoa New Zealand through his interest in sheep genetics.

JR Howard: Texas based farmer, JR Howard, and his wife Kellye, are owner/operators of Texas Solar Sheep.  This is a business that specialises in providing utility scale solar farm vegetation management. Sheep are the primary tool of choice, greatly reducing the need to mow and spray areas. However, they also have traditional mowing and spraying equipment to complement grazing.

Tony Inder: A sixth-generation merino sheep farmer and stud breeder, Tony, and his family live near Wellington, NSW, Australia.  With 400 ha of solar panels on his property, Tony is part of a study investigating how grazing under solar panels affects wool traits.

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