On-Farm Energy Resources

Solar Energy Project Considerations

The Department of Agriculture provides the document linked below for use by solar energy developers when they are considering solar projects that may impact prime farmland resources. Developers should plan on DoAg review taking up to 30 days once we have the information necessary to make a determination as to whether or not the project will materially affect the status of prime farmland. For additional information, please contact Eileen Underwood in the Resource Preservation Unit at either eileen.underwood@ct.gov or (860) 819-0580

Adobe PDF File: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DOAG/Commissioner/200116-Solar-Project-Consideration-Guidelines.pdf

DoAg Requirements for Solar Grazing

Resources for Solar Energy on Farmland

Smart Solar - American Farmland Trust
Information about Smart Solar principles. 

American Solar Grazing Association
A not for profit trade association founded for and managed by sheep farmers who became solar graziers.

AgriSolar Clearinghouse
A resource to connect businesses, land managers, and researchers with resources to support the co-location of solar and sustainable agriculture. 

Guide to Farming Friendly Solar
From the University of Vermont Extension, Center for Sustainable Agriculture. 

Rutgers Agrivoltaics Program
Information on New Jersey's Dual-Use Solar Energy Pilot Program

Dual-Use Solar & Agriculture
Dual use research and resources from the UMass Clean Energy Extension


State and Federal Agricultural Energy Assistance Programs

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture has compiled a list of programs to assist projects addressing agricultural energy efficiency. 

Connecticut Department of Agriculture Connecticut Agricultural Viability Grants

The Farm Viability Grant (FVG) (C.G.S. Sec. 22-26j) is a competitive matching grant program open to municipalities, regional planning organizations, association of municipalities, and agricultural non-profits. The maximum grant award is $49,999. 

Connecticut Department of Agriculture Connecticut Farm Transition Grants  

The Farm Transition Grant Program (FTG) (C.G.S. Sec. 22-26k) is a competitive matching grant to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives.   Producers and agriculture cooperatives applying for this grant may be awarded up to $49,999 in matching funds. 

Connecticut Farm Energy Program

The Connecticut Farm Energy Program (CFEP) serves as a resource and clearinghouse for information about on-farm energy opportunities, including grant opportunities, financial incentives, loans, audits, educational opportunities and events for agricultural producers and agricultural based small business located in Connecticut.   CFEP works closely with Federal, State and local partners and they provide technical assistance in the form of grant writing to eligible Connecticut agricultural producers and small businesses.  

Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut provides Connecticut consumers, businesses and communities the resources and information they need to make it easy to save energy and build a clean energy future for everyone in the state. It is an initiative of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities. The initiative has funding support from a charge on customer energy bills.  

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) On-Farm Energy Initiative

Financial assistance is available for site-specific energy analysis of eligible farmsteads and irrigation systems.  This analysis, known as an Agricultural Energy Management Plan (AgEMP), is completed by NRCS-certified Technical Service Providers.  With a completed AgEMP or other qualifying energy audit, eligible producers can apply for EQIP assistance for the purchase and installation of improvements for:

  • Lighting
  • Plate coolers
  • Ventilation and fans
  • Irrigation pumps
  • Grain dryers
  • Greenhouse improvements
  • Maple syrup evaporators
  • Heating and refrigeration units
  • Insulation and building envelope sealing
  • Motor controls and variable speed drives

Applications should be made through a Connecticut NRCS office.

USDA Rural Energy for America Program

Rural Development Energy Programs, authorized by the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, offer funding to complete energy audits, provide renewable energy development assistance, make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems.  Programs are offered that help convert older heating sources to cleaner technologies, produce advanced biofuels, install solar panels, build biorefineries, and much more.  For information on deadlines and award amounts, please visit the link above.