Cranberry farmers want to build solar panels over their bogs

CARVER, Mass. (AP) — America’s cranberry industry is looking to solar power for relief as it struggles with plummeting fruit prices.

Cranberry farmers in Massachusetts, the nation’s second largest grower after Wisconsin, are proposing to build solar panels above their bogs.

Jordan Macknick, an analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, says the novel approach to blending solar production with crop cultivation is being researched but hasn’t been tried before on a large scale anywhere in the world.

Michael Wainio is a Massachusetts cranberry farmer proposing one of the projects. He says revenue from solar power is essential to maintaining his family’s farm near Cape Cod.

University of Massachusetts researchers have launched a study to examine the idea. Opponents argue there would be long-term environmental consequences.

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