AgriVoltaics World Conference

Technical Tours

The AgriVoltaics World Conference 2024 will feature three distinct technical tours on Monday, June 10, 2024. Participants will have the exclusive opportunity to visit one of three locations:

  • NREL (and Chatfield Farms) Technical Tour: 12:00 p.m. ~ 5:00 p.m.

  • CSU ARDEC Technical Tour: 1:00 p.m. ~ 6:00 p.m.

  • Jack’s Solar Garden Technical Tour: 1:00 p.m. ~ 8:00 p.m.

All buses will depart from the conference venue (Sheraton Denver West Hotel) at the respective times. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before departure to ensure timely boarding. Participation in the technical tours is only available to those who have purchased the technical tour during registration. Please note the updated times of the NREL Technical Tour.


Colorado State University Agricultural Research Development and Education Center

Colorado State University’s (CSU) Agricultural Research Development and Education Center (ARDEC) Main was founded in 1993 to encourage cooperation between soils, crop and water research scientists in an integrated setting under common management. After early success, ARDEC Main was expanded in 1999 to create the same type of facility for animal scientists.  Today, ARDEC Main is approximately 1,000 acres of which 889 are farmable and irrigated.

Later, the Hort Farm which had been a departmental resource belonging to the Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture (HLA) was transferred to join ARDEC under the ownership of the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) with the new name ARDEC South. ARDEC South, also known as the Horticulture Field Research Center facility, is approximately 65 acres; 54 acres are farmable irrigated acres including approximately 8.5 certified organic acres. ARDEC South consists of a small house/residence that is used as an office area, a machine shop, an open shed, an enclosed shed with walk-in coolers, and 7 hoop houses.

ARDEC South is home to the CSU Agrivoltaics Testing Grounds demonstration site, established in 2019. The current agrivoltaics testing site is replicated three times and includes three different solar module (panel) technologies with different levels of transparency and a full sun control.  Research has been ongoing at this demonstration site; serving as a connection point with growers, stakeholders, legislators, university researchers, students, and the public.  In 2024 the site was expanded to include vertical bifacial modules.

ARDEC Main is the site of a cattle feeding pen with shading provided by two pole mounted photovoltaic arrays.


The technical tour to CSU ARDEC will take approximately five hours.

Jack’s Solar Garden

Jack's Solar Garden is a family-owned and operated 1.2 MW (5-acre, 2-hectare) single-axis tracking community solar garden in Boulder County, Colorado. Designed to maximize energy production, Jack's solar array enables within it agrivoltaic research, specialty crop and medicinal herb cultivation, educational tours for kids and adults, music and arts events, and livelihoods for researchers, farmers, and educators. Jack's showcases how the microclimates created by solar panels can benefit crops, animals, and people given minor design changes, care for the land during construction, and trust in community members.

One unique feature of Jack’s is that it contains two different panel heights (1.8m and 2.4m) that allow for side by side comparisons of solar designs on microclimates, vegetation growth, and soil conditions. Research at Jack’s includes crop production, pasture grass and grazing, and native grasses and pollinator habitat.

The technical tour to Jack’s Solar Garden will take approximately six hours.

Jack's Solar Garden

NREL & Chatfield Farms

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colorado, is the United States' primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. NREL is home to the National Center for Photovoltaics, the National Bioenergy Center, and the National Wind Technology Center. NREL's 327-acre campus houses many research laboratories and the lab's administrative office. With a commitment to sustainable operations, the main campus boasts several LEED-platinum rated buildings, along with multiple on-site renewable energy installations.

NREL converted an existing 70 kW bifacial PV technology research system to an agrivoltaic research plot in 2022. Led by the InSPIRE research team, this plot contains research on crop production, pasture grasses, and native pollinator habitat.

The technical tour to NREL will take approximately five hours.

NREL: Growing Plants, Power, and Partnerships Through Agrivoltaics

NREL: About

Important Information on the NREL Technical Tour

NREL Technical Tour: Important Information

Participation in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) technical tour is subject to a separate security clearance process conducted by NREL. As a U.S. federal research and development facility, NREL maintains strict security requirements for visitors. Nationals of certain countries may be denied clearance and therefore unable to participate in the technical tour. 
In the event of a denial, participants will be eligible for a partial refund of 50% of their technical tour registration fee. 
Please note that this security clearance process is beyond the control of the conference organizers.