PR Tips for Promoting Solar Grazing and Agrivoltaics

By: Jess Gray · Feb. 26, 2024 · 4 min

Promoting solar grazing presents a unique opportunity for solar companies to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of their operations. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the communications strategies and tactics we’ve seen to be most successful for solar companies promoting their solar grazing and agrivoltaics programs.

By integrating livestock grazing into solar farms, companies can reduce vegetation management costs and contribute positively to the environment by promoting biodiversity and supporting local agricultural economies. This innovative approach aligns with environmental stewardship goals, strengthens community relations, and showcases a commitment to sustainable practices in the renewable energy sector.

Good public relations helps energy companies communicate their sustainability, innovation, and community engagement efforts, enhancing their brand image. Positive media coverage and well-crafted messaging can improve public perception, making the company more attractive to customers, investors, and partners.

Energy companies operate in a highly regulated environment. Through PR, companies can advocate for favorable policies and regulations, engage in public debates, and position themselves as thought leaders on critical issues such as energy policy, sustainability, and climate change. Positive media coverage and a robust reputation can make the company more appealing to institutional investors, venture capitalists, and shareholders.

Key Takeaway

In our experience, starting the community engagement process as early as possible is important. This streamlines the permitting process for your solar project and helps ensure community buy-in from the start. Your solar grazing service is a great asset to lean on during this phase. We regularly meet with community leaders to support our customers’ projects, educating regulatory bodies and the public about the numerous benefits of agrivoltaics.

Solar Grazing Communications Goals and Objectives

  • Raise Awareness: Increase public and stakeholder awareness of the benefits of solar grazing.

  • Engage Stakeholders: Foster engagement among key stakeholders to explore and adopt solar grazing practices.

  • Promote Benefits: Highlight the environmental, economic, and social benefits of solar grazing.

  • Facilitate Partnerships: Encourage new partnerships between your company and local farmers interested in agrivoltaics and shared land uses.

Target Audiences

Your messaging will primarily target energy customers, investors, and regulatory bodies, including local government entities. If you’re looking to expand operations, you’ll also want to target landowners who may consider leasing or selling their land for solar grazing projects and farmers who may want to collaborate on agricultural projects.

Key Messages

  • Sustainability: Solar grazing offers a sustainable alternative to traditional land management under solar panels, reducing carbon footprint and supporting biodiversity.

  • Economic Benefits: It provides an additional income stream for farmers and reduces maintenance costs for solar farm operators. Solar grazing also supports shepherds, veterinarians, butchers, meat producers, wool producers, sale barns, mineral stores, collie and guardian dog breeders, local feed stores, and real estate.

  • Community Support: Solar grazing supports local agriculture and can contribute to food security.

  • Environmental Impact: Highlight the positive impact on soil health, vegetation management, and wildlife habitat.

Solar grazing contributes to biodiversity by enhancing soil health, plant speciation, and pollinator populations

Communication Channels

  • Website and Blog Posts: Develop a dedicated section on your organization’s website for solar grazing, including case studies, benefits, and how-to guides.

  • Social Media Campaigns: Utilize social platforms to share stories, images, and videos of successful solar grazing projects. For example, we partnered with Dominion Energy on this effective video campaign.

  • Press Releases and Media Outreach: Target local and national media outlets to cover stories on solar grazing initiatives.

  • Webinars and Workshops: Host educational sessions featuring experts and case studies for stakeholders to learn about solar grazing.

  • Partnerships and Events: Promote solar grazing by collaborating with environmental groups, agricultural associations, and industry conferences.

  • Educational Materials: Produce infographics, videos, and fact sheets that explain the process and benefits of solar grazing.

Budget Considerations

Building a positive image for your solar energy brand is essential for attracting and retaining customers, investors, and regulatory support in a competitive market. Allocate resources for content creation, website updates, social media advertising, event hosting, and possible partnerships with influencers or organizations that can spread your messaging.

PR Planning For Success

The success of a communication plan for promoting solar grazing efforts hinges on clear messaging, strategic use of multiple channels, and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. By highlighting the multifaceted benefits of solar grazing, the plan aims to foster widespread adoption of this practice, contributing to the sustainability of solar energy projects and local agriculture. Remember: a positive reputation, strategic stakeholder engagement, and effective communication can increase customer loyalty, investments, and market opportunities.

About Jess

Jess Gray is the CEO of Gray’s LAMBscaping, LLC, overseeing the company’s financial management, policy development, logistics, and reporting. As a 2023 Nuffield International Agricultural Scholar, Gray has represented her company in over half a dozen countries, focusing her research on integrating solar energy with livestock grazing.