Solar Energy

The declining cost of solar equipment and installation makes solar electric systems enticing for many farms.

Solar Growth in Ohio

In 2009, Ohio had 14 solar projects certified with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, growing to more than 2,697 projects representing 210 megawatts (MW) of capacity in June 2019.

Informative Resources

Learn about benefits of and considerations for solar energy through the links below.

Fact Sheets & Studies

An Introduction to On-Farm Solar Electric Systems

 

A general information resource on renewable energy policy drivers, photovoltaic (PV) solar technology, on-farm applications, and considerations and references to guide the decision-making process for solar adoption. (Ohio State University Extension)

Farmland Owner's Guide to Solar Leasing

 

A detailed guide to help farmland owners understand solar energy development and the solar energy leasing process. (Ohio State University Extension)

On-Farm Solar Electric System Safety

 

An information resource to help farmers understand how PV solar systems operate and how to develop an emergency response plan for PV systems installed on their farms. (Ohio State University Extension)

Guide to Farming Friendly Solar

 

A general guide on considerations for on-farm solar energy. (University of Vermont Extension)

Worksheets & Tools

Solar Electric Investment Analysis Bulletin Series

 

A six-part series of guides to help farmers with the decision-making process to determine if on-farm solar is right for them. (Ohio State University Extension)

  • Part 1: Estimating System Production

  • Part 2: Assessing System Cost

  • Part 3: Forecasting the Value of Electricity

  • Part 4: Understanding Incentives

  • Part 5: Conducting a Financial Analysis

  • Part 6: PV Solar Example

 

The Farmland Owner’s Solar Leasing Checklist

 

A list of important considerations, people to consult, and questions to ask before and after signing a lease for a solar project (Ohio State University Extension).

Estimating the Size of Your Solar Electric System

A summary of calculations and considerations (including worksheets) for sizing a farm solar energy system. (Ohio State University Extension)

PVWatts® Calculator

 

A tool that calculates hourly or monthly solar energy production based on general input such as location and solar system size. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Maps & Geographic Information

State Solar Maps

 

These maps provide average daily total solar resource information per state (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Interactive Map of Ohio Solar Installers and Farm Projects

 

Coming Soon!

Costs & Financing

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

 

An online database of various financial incentives available for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Ohio. (NC Clean Energy Technology Center)

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives

Another online database of energy financial incentives, searchable by Ohio county and utility provider. (Ohio State University Extension)

USDA Farm Loan Programs

 

An information resource about farm loan programs. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency)

U.S. Department of Energy Guides to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics for Homeowners and Commercial Businesses

Federal guidelines for tax credits on solar energy investments for homeowners and commercial businesses. (U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office) 

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants, Ohio Office

 

An information resource about REAP, which focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency in rural businesses. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development)

Other Resources

Get information from your local extension educator. Talk to the OSU Extension educator for your area about solar energy considerations, available resources, and potential installers. Contact potential installers. If you decide to move forward with exploring a solar project on your farm, contact reputable installers and collect quotes for your project. Find installers at Green Energy Ohio, or Solar Reviews.

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The Ohio Farm Energy Infrastructure website is developed and funded by Ohio soybean farmers and their checkoff.