Solar energy and agricultural production often find themselves competitors. Both have strong incentives to expand, and they share a key input: land. Solar developers continue ramping up solar installation worldwide to meet heightened clean energy targets aimed at combating climate change, while agribusiness faces pressure to expand food production to support a growing population. Because solar development and crop production thrive under similar land conditions, namely, large, contiguous parcels of traditionally agricultural land, the two industries often find themselves competing for space.

Agrivoltaics aims to transform this competition into synergy: farming operations and solar development can coexist and reap benefits by sharing land. These arrangements are called agrivoltaic systems, and their widespread implementation can help popularize solar energy in agriculture-dependent communities hesitant to welcome solar development.

As nations continue developing renewable energy infrastructure to meet sustainability targets, some are creating unique approaches to ensure they meet their stated goals. In what is expected to be a first for any nation (developed or otherwise), the Energy Ministry of Israel is enacting new country-wide regulations requiring all new non-residential buildings to have rooftop solar panels. 

When President Jimmy Carter installed rooftop solar panels on the White House, public support for adoption of renewable energy was at a then all-time high and many imagined the possibility of rooftop solar on their own homes and in their own communities. Yet, barriers such as the high up-front installation cost of panels, and of

Over the past decade, Missouri has experienced steady growth in utility-scale solar projects[1] and developers have benefited from a property tax exemption under Section 137.100(10) of the state’s tax code. Since the statutory property tax exemption was passed in 2013, solar facilities have leveraged the tax exemption to offset development and operations costs. Until recently, the solar facility tax exemption had flown largely under the radar, as even the largest solar facilities to come online in Missouri have been smaller than 15 megawatts[2]. Over the last few years, however, Missouri counties have started to see the kind of interest from large utility-scale solar developers that states in the south have been experiencing. But in August of 2022, the Missouri Supreme Court bucked the state’s solar-friendly trend in Johnson v. Springfield Solar 1, LLC, 648 S.W.3d 101 (Mo. 2022), unanimously finding the exemption for “solar energy systems not held for resale” under Section 137.100(10) unconstitutional. The case involved a small solar facility that supplied energy to Springfield, Missouri. The Missouri Supreme Court’s decision means that Springfield Solar 1, LLC could owe Greene County, Missouri more than $400,000 in back property taxes, and more generally, that developers who installed solar equipment in Missouri since 2013 will not be able to rely on the property tax exemption as they had anticipated under the tax code.

In order to keep pace with the federal government’s ambitious goal of permitting the production of at least twenty-five (25) gigawatts of renewable energy through projects placed on public land by 2025, the Department of the Interior (the “DOI”) recently announced several policy changes to ensure developing renewable projects on public land is attractive and affordable for third-party developers and investors.

On the Horizon imageHusch Blackwell and the Texas Renewable Energies Industries Alliance have teamed up to produce a webinar series titled, On the Horizon, focused on the Texas solar industry.  The latest installment focused on solar leases and mineral right issues and is now available on-demand. The panelists discussed recommended provisions for solar leases including steps solar project developers can take to anticipate mineral estate operations and lessen the potential impact of right of access under the Texas’ Accommodation Doctrine.

Register here for the final two webinars of the year: