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Speakers will discuss three common issues that arise between wind and solar energy
development and agriculture: land consumption, local opposition, and co-location.
Jan. 3, 2022
By Will ClarkU of A System Division of Agriculture
(With art at https://bit.ly/3JBt77I)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Should agricultural land be used for wind and solar farms? This
question will be the focus of the National Agricultural Law Center’s webinar, “Wind
and Solar Farms in Farm Country: Addressing Land Use Conflicts” on Jan. 19, at noon
EST/11 a.m. CST.
Wind has been used in agriculture for millennia to power irrigation and grain grinding
while solar energy has been used for crop growth and grain drying. However, while
harvesting the sun and wind for distribution through the electric grid may be a non-traditional
farming practice, farmland can be an ideal location for a utility-scale wind and solar
facility. The terms solar farm and wind farm are a new take on the pairing of renewable
energy and agriculture as uses of land.
This non-traditional use is on the rise. For example, the 2017 Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms leasing wind rights nearly doubled between 2012 and 2017,
growing from 10,181 to 20,072.
Peggy Kirk Hall, associate professor at The Ohio State University, says policies that
encourage increased production of wind and solar energy can be at odds with those
that promote agricultural uses of land. Additionally, Hall says local opposition to
utility-scale wind and solar development can be strong. The friction forces a policy
decision on whether to prohibit or limit wind and solar development on farmland in
the face of mandates and incentives for renewable energy.
Hall, along with Whitney R. Morgan and Jesse Richardson, will discuss three common
issues that arise between wind and solar energy development and agriculture: land
consumption, local opposition, and co-location.
Both are with the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic of the West Virginia
University. Richardson is a law professor and lead land use attorney, and Morgan is
Additionally, this webinar will highlight research on state and local land use laws
for siting wind and solar facilities, and discuss recommended practices for addressing
land use conflicts between wind and solar farms and farming.
“The situations surrounding wind and solar development differ across the country,
but our research indicates that there are common concerns and solutions,” Hall says.
“We’ve analyzed how local and state governments are addressing land use conflicts
that arise from large scale solar and wind development and draw upon their experiences
to provide recommendations.”
“Land use is an issue facing agriculture more today than ever before,” National Agricultural
Law Center Director Harrison Pittman said. “This webinar, along with the presenters’
expertise on the issue, will allow viewers to gain a strong understanding of the legal
approaches to addressing renewable energy as a use for farmland.”
Learn more and register for the webinar here: https://bit.ly/3INODpH.
For more information on the National Agricultural Law Center, visit https://nationalaglawcenter.org/ or follow @Nataglaw on Twitter.
About the National Agricultural Law Center
The National Agricultural Law Center serves as the nation’s leading source of agricultural and food law research and information.
The Center works with producers, state and federal policymakers, Congressional staffers,
attorneys, land grant universities, and many others to provide objective, nonpartisan
agricultural and food law research and information to the nation’s agricultural community.
The Center is a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
and works in close partnership with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, National
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal
access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to
participate or need materials in another format, please contact 479-575-4607 as soon
as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
# # #Media contact: Will Clark email@example.com