University of Maryland Extension

Ag Solar Energy

Maryland Energy Extension

Ag Solar Energy


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Solar Panels in Field

Fall 2020
On-Farm Solar PV
Online Basic Training

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Are you interested in installing solar photovoltaics (PV) on your farm? If so, you'll want to join this free webinar series, designed for farmers, landowners, and agricultural service providers across the state, to address some of the opportunities and challenges associated with on-farm solar PV. The information and resources provided here can help you to sustainably implement solar PV on your farm.

Maryland is one of the fastest-growing solar energy producers in the country due to increasing energy costs, decreasing cost of solar technology, and the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requiring 14.5% of the state’s electricity to be generated from solar energy by 2030. For these reasons and more, farmers and landowners across the state are considering small-scale installations to support their operations and/or leasing their land for large-scale solar installations. 

Live training sessions will run weekly on Wednesdays from 1:00pm-2:00pm from September 30 through December 2. No session will beheld on Thanksgiving week (November 25). Participants are encouraged to join the live presentations as they occur, however, all presentations will be recorded for later viewing. Presentations will be conducted on Zoom with other educational materials made available through this webpage. Each module will be presented live by University and Extension experts. All training sessions are free.

Maryland's Solar Market 

September 30, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore various forms of available energy and how solar power fits into the overall mix, as well as how relevant solar technology, research, and policy developments can support new and continued opportunities for on-farm solar in Maryland. Learn how solar initiatives such as Maryland’s energy policy and renewable energy goals are impacting the state... watch now


Solar PV Basics 

October 7, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore how PV cells convert light energy into electrical energy, as well as how various solar PV designs could be implemented on your farm. Learn how to calculate the efficiency of a solar panel and how the various components of a solar PV system work together... watch now


Solar Planning & Design 

October 14, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore how the energy consumption of your home, farm, or place of business impacts the design of your solar PV system. Learn how to calculate daily and annual electrical usage, how to calculate the power and annual energy output of a solar PV panel, and how to develop a basic PV system design based on your electrical consumption... watch now  


Solar Regulations & Zoning 

October 21, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore the regulations for both small-scale and utility-scale solar development in Maryland including the need for research on what regulations exist in the state, as well as their practical nature at a local level. Learn about current zoning laws, regulations and ordinances for solar PV in Maryland, and about various community issues and environmental concerns associated with on-farm solar PV... watch now


Solar Installation & Maintenance 

October 28, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore various installation, operation, and maintenance requirements for on-farm solar PV systems including local and state regulations for installing solar PV in Maryland. Learn how to determine system size, how to install a solar PV system with rooftop or ground-based mounting, how to connect panels to other electrical components, and how to operate and maintain your solar PV system through the seasons... watch now


Solar Financial Options 

November 4, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore the costs, ROI, and different financial models that impact the implementation of a solar PV system on your farm. Learn about net metering and interconnection, how to calculate the system costs and payback, the differences between owning and leasing a solar PV system, and how to evaluate financial models and incentives for everything from small-scale applications of solar PV to large-scale solar projects on your farm... watch now


Community Solar & Solar Co-ops 

November 11, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore the benefits, opportunities and challenges associated with community solar and solar co-op programs. Learn how these programs work, how to assess program offerings, and how to get started with community solar or a solar co-op... watch now


Utility-Scale Solar Leasing 

November 18, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore land use, legal, and economic challenges associated with utility-scale leasing in Maryland from a landowner's perspective. Learn about the various impacts of large-scale solar development to landowners, as well as what factors should be addressed when considering a solar development contract... watch now


Solar Battery Storage 

December 2, 2020 @ 1 - 2 pm

Explore the state of energy storage technology for residential, small-scale commercial, and agricultural operations. Learn how to integrate battery storage into an existing solar PV system, how to design new battery-integrated solar PV systems, and what questions to ask manufacturers and/or installers... watch now

Ag Solar Resources connects you to further information related to the agricultural solar energy.

due to increasing energy costs and the decreasing cost of solar technology

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