Solar Can Help Preserve Farmland [Opinion]

Lancaster Farming
March 7, 2022


In a recent letter to the editor, “Don’t Fear Nuclear Energy,” the author voices concern that solar would “destroy farmland.”

Solar can actually play an important role in preserving farmland. When farmers lease a portion of their land at $1,000 per acre or more, it keeps land ownership in their hands while supplementing their income. And at the end of the solar lease, when equipment is removed, the land will have been fallow for 25 years, resulting in more nutrient-rich soil.

The loss of farmland in the state is a grave concern, as Pennsylvania has lost thousands of farms in the past decade. However, the American Farmland Trust notes that the largest threat to farmland is actually low-density residential housing. Once sold to housing, warehouses or strip malls, the land will likely never return to farming.

Matt Mahoney
Director of Government Affairs
PA Solar Center

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