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Solar Panels make sheep happier and healthier!
A new study was done on the impact of agrivoltaic farms and the animals associated with them. Agrivoltaic means, using land for both farming and solar power. They took 80 sheep, put half of them in a traditional open field and half in a field that was 60% covered with ground mounted solar panels. The sheep in the solar panel field spent 70% of their time sheltering under the panels. They grazed 8% more than their open field counterparts and lay down to rest 71% more. They also spent 16% less time standing around idle, which is a warning sign of an unhappy sheep. The panels keep the sheep cool, they also prevent the grass from getting parched and dew from the panels keeps the grass green and healthy. In fact, the grass in the field with solar panels was 172% higher in nitrogen content making it more nourishing and easier to digest. As well, the sheep keep the grass and weeds short around the equipment. Finally, unlike goats, they won’t chew through the wires! Studies like this are great because solar panels need a lot of space, with agrivoltaics, everyone wins!