Agricultural Solar Siting Resources

There is growing interest in solar energy development in Maine. Farms are exploring opportunities to generate solar power to help power on-farm energy needs. Some farms are interested in diversifying their income streams by leasing land for solar development while continuing agricultural production.

McDougal Orchard's Barn. Photo Courtesy of Revision Energy.

McDougal Orchard's Barn. Photo Courtesy of Revision Energy.

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) supports the state’s goals for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and pursuing renewable energy generation. DACF encourages that, whenever possible, commercial scale solar projects be sited on non-agricultural lands, given the finite amount of prime agricultural soils in Maine. When solar is developed on agricultural land, the DACF encourages the development of dual-use solar projects.

The DACF has compiled a robust set of resources for anyone interested in learning more about the intersection of solar power and agriculture. They range from technical guidance for developers regarding installation and decommissioning, to checklists for farmers who are considering solar development on their lands.

Solar Siting Resources

State Resources

Additional Maine Resources

Little Ridge Farm's Barn. Photo Courtesy of Revision Energy.

Little Ridge Farm.
Photo Courtesy of Revision Energy.

Dual-Use Resources

Solar Grazing

Little Ridge Farm's Barn. Photo Courtesy of Revision Energy.

Photo Courtesy of Crescent Run Farm.

  • Solar Farm Grazing Best Management Practices for Sheep (PDF) – The DACF and University of Maine Cooperative Extension (UMCE), with assistance from USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, have created Best Management Practices (BMPs) for sheep grazing at solar installations. This guidance document is intended to provide farmers and landowners with practical information for establishing and maintaining appropriate vegetative ground cover utilizing sheep while minimizing soil erosion and storm runoff.  The BMPs should be viewed as guidelines that provide a starting framework for planning purposes.  NOTE: for solar projects 20 acres or greater that must receive permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), additional steps will need to be taken to gain DEP approval for solar grazing at the site. For more information, please contact the appropriate DEP regional office.
  • American Solar Grazing Association

Regional Resources

Morris Farm. Photo Courtesy of ReVision.

Morris Farm. Photo Courtesy of Revision Energy.

Consumer Resources