In the early days of solar development, we built solar farms and then locked the gate and walked away, completely missing the opportunity to the use the land under the panels for a productive, long-term purpose.
Enter agrivoltaics or dual-use solar, a technique where solar farms are built to allow for grazing or growing crops, creating a win-win situation for the farmer, the solar developer and the community at large.
Michael Marsch is Chief Development Officer at BlueWave Solar, a DG-scale regional solar developer and thought leader in the realm of agrivoltaics. Mike joined BlueWave in 2013, building and managing its Solar Project Development and Construction Team as the startup grew into a nationally-recognized impact company.
Prior to BlueWave, Mike was a traditional real estate developer in Southern California, serving as Principal at Beckett Holdings, Development Associate with The Ratkovich Company and Portfolio Manager at Briarwood Capital,
On this episode of Clean Power Hour, Mike joins Tim to discuss the advantages of agrivoltaics, describing the synergies between active agricultural land use and solar development.
Mike addresses the partnership between Axium and BlueWave, explaining how the two organizations align around energy justice and how Mike’s team is using the capital to build clean energy infrastructure at scale.
Listen in for insight on diversifying the workforce in the solar industry and learn how Mike thinks about communicating the benefits of agrivoltaics, community solar and battery storage.
What inspired Mike’s transition from conventional real estate to mission-driven solar developer
BlueWave’s role as a DG-scale regional solar developer
What inspired the partnership between BlueWave and Axium and their alignment around energy justice
BlueWave’s thought leadership in the realm of agrivoltaics or dual-use solar
The opportunity to use the land under solar panels for grazing and growing crops
How BlueWave is working to get community solar in low- and moderate-income communities
How a capital partner like Axium allows BlueWave to build clean energy infrastructure at scale
Why it’s crucial for solar developers to do community outreach and be responsible in how we use land
How BlueWave leans on the InSPIRE Working Group, Jack’s Solar Garden and local farmers for innovative ideas in agrivoltaics
What we can do to diversify the workforce in the solar industry
Why it’s important to communicate the value prop of battery storage to policymakers and utilities