Document Type

Policy Brief

Publication Date

Spring 2018


solar, solar farming, solar energy, agricultural policy


Solar energy systems are rapidly expanding across the United States. This expansion is also occurring on agricultural land, raising concerns regarding the loss of prime cropland and dangers to biodiversity (1, 2). However, benefits of solar siting on agricultural land include financial stability for farmers (1), reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (3), and the possibility of siting on unsuitable agricultural land (4, 5). As solar energy system installations expand, it is recommended that the state of Maine consider best management practices and policy considerations and create a policy that protects prime farmland while also providing farmers with diversification opportunities.