Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
College of Science and Mathematics
Earth and Environmental Studies
Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair
The dual use of farmland and the incorporation of solar energy has the potential to maximize the net returns per acre and utilization capabilities. Land is one of the most vital and nonrenewable resources that is often solely used for one purpose. This study focuses on analyzing three objectives: 1) To explore the potential of Agrivoltaic Farming (dual use) on preserved farmland in New Jersey. 2) To estimate the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of New Jersey’s dual use potential. 3) To generate sensitivity analyses of dual use solar and farm production in New Jersey. This study analyzed New Jersey’s current energy demands, potential energy yields on preserved farmland, and the available land to establish solar projects. It also calculated the analysis of various discount rates, fluctuation on the cost of energy, and effects on solar panel efficiency due to evapotranspiration. These objectives yielded great potential for New Jersey in numerous areas such as: 1) Energy production of up to 0.11 TWh of clean energy generated from only 21 target farms. 2) A reduction of water required for irrigation by up to 29% annually. 3) A positive Net Present Value (NPV) with discount rates as high as 12%. This study demonstrates the potential dual use has for the stakeholders and the state of New Jersey. This study shows that even when a high discount rate is applied to a solar project, its NPV and return on initial capital investments remains positive throughout its lifespan. This study supports numerous strategies outlined in the New Jersey Energy Master Plan (EMP), which is expected to reach carbon neutrality and clean energy production for the state by 2050.
Chapman, Gary Ryan, "Assessing Potential of Dual Use Solar Development in New Jersey Preserved Farmlands" (2022). Theses, Dissertations and Culminating Projects. 1011.