|April 6, 2023 09:27 AM
|Representative Christopher M. Rabb
|All House members
|Commissioning a study on agrivoltaic farming
|Pennsylvania lost 6,000 farms between 2012 and 2017. Most of this farm loss is driven by low density residential development that raises the value of land beyond what farmers can afford. We in the legislature need to look for solutions that can preserve farms in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania must also find ways to expand our use of renewable energy. An ever-growing body of research suggest that communities that are pushed into close proximity to oil and gas development suffer an array of devastating health impacts. Additionally, the Russian invasion of Ukraine served as a grim reminder that overreliance on fossil fuels makes Pennsylvania pocketbooks more easily subjected to economic attacks from autocratic leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For this reason, I will be introducing legislation to direct the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on a potential solution. Agrivoltaic farming allows for dual use of the same land to farm and to collect solar energy. Studies have identified important crops that grow better with the partial shade provided by solar panels. Studies have also confirmed that agrivoltaic farming can also be used effectively with livestock.
My resolution will instruct the Joint State Government Commission to study what benefits agrivoltaic farming could offer Pennsylvania and what opportunities exist for agrivoltaic farming to expand in Pennsylvania. Please join me in seeking information on a win-win for the future of Pennsylvania farmers and for renewable energy.
Introduced as HR224