Solar FlexRack provides trackers to Namasté Solar for the most important agrivoltaic analysis mission within the USA – AltEnergyMag

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The agrivoltaic / community solar project acts as a national model for education and service

Solar FlexRack ™, a division of Northern States Metals and an innovative leader in photovoltaic assembly and solar tracker solutions, announced that it is its turnkey TDP solar tracker for Jacks Solar Garden, a 1.2 MW solar farm project and its largest Agrivoltaics research project in the USA, in Boulder County, Colorado. The solar system was designed and built by Namasté Solar, an employee-owned cooperative based in Colorado. Jack's is a communal solar garden that produces enough electricity for over 300 households.

Byron Kominek, owner of Jacks Solar Garden, drives his family's tractor through the solar power system. Photo courtesy Werner Slocum, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Byron Kominek, owner of Jacks Solar Garden, drives his family's tractor through the solar power system. Photo courtesy Werner Slocum, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Jack's is located on 5 acres of farmland for dual use of agriculture and solar power generation. In collaboration with the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Colorado State University and the University of Arizona, this project is investigating how wildflowers, willow and prairie grasses, pollinator habitats and crops can best be grown. such as carrots, onions, tomatoes and squash, all of which will be planted under and around the solar panel this season.

Namasté Solar, a certified B corporation that develops, designs, installs, and services solar power systems for homeowners, commercial property owners, and utility-scale developers, selected Solar FlexRack's TDP solar trackers for their versatility and intelligent backtracking. This reduces shading across rows and increases energy production. With Solar FlexRack's customizable TDP solar trackers, Namasté Solar was able to overcome the challenge of installing the trackers at different heights to test the effects of different amounts of shade and sunlight on plant growth while maximizing solar energy yield.

“We selected Solar FlexRack's rugged TDP solar trackers for their efficiency, accuracy and versatility, especially given the complex and diverse needs of this project,” said Ryan Turnbull, senior commercial project manager at Namasté Solar. “It was clear that Solar FlexRack was committed to ensuring the success of the project through outstanding support services.”

Namasté Solar used the know-how of previous agrivoltaic projects and knew the importance of avoiding excessive compaction of the local soil, as this could limit the planting of certain species. They overcame this challenge by maintaining strict heavy equipment lanes and not using gravel on site. “Namasté Solar is a long-time industry leader, particularly in the agrivoltaic space, and we share their commitment to customer satisfaction,” said Steve Daniel, EVP, Sales and Marketing, Solar FlexRack.

This agrivoltaic project has already become a national model for service and education. Along with partnerships with agrivoltaic research institutes, Jack's partnered with Audubon Rockies in May 2020 to plant their largest Habitat Hero in Colorado around the solar field – over 1,800 pollinator-friendly perennials. They also work with Sprout City Farms to manage crop production under the solar field and train the first agrivoltaic farmers in Colorado. The farm also donates 2% of its energy production to low-income households in Boulder County and has an Artist on the Farm program to support local creatives. Students and community members have the opportunity to visit Jacks to learn about agriculture, solar power, and land use management at their new nonprofit branch, the Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center. With the help of Namasté Solar and Solar FlexRack, Jack's was able to emphasize the idea of ​​community while promoting the next generation of agrivoltaic farmers.

Information on Solar FlexRack

Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, is an integrated solar company providing bespoke ground mount and single axis fixed pitch solar tracking systems to the commercial and utility-scale solar mount industries. Solar FlexRack also offers turnkey complete packages, including engineering, geotechnical, pullout test, field, layout and installation services, to take into account the actual site conditions of an installation and to provide a comprehensive scope of services from planning to delivery and installation. Solar FlexRack has completed over 2.5 GW of solar racking systems in 40 states across America and five countries worldwide. For more information, see solarflexrack. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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