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ASGA Call #51: Learn about Federal Agrovoltaics Research and Programs

March 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST

March 2 @ 6:00 pm 7:00 pm EST

Zachary Eldredge will be joining us from the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to discuss the government’s agrovoltaics programs and recent developments in agrovoltaics engineering.

About the Speaker

Zachary Eldredge is a Technology Manager for the Strategic Analysis and Institutional Support team, joining SETO in June 2019. 

His projects are focused on finding innovative ways to manage land-use of solar energy, including innovative siting solutions such as combining solar energy and agricultural production. In collaboration with National Laboratories and SETO’s sister offices in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Zach works to improve models that are important in understanding the growth and operation of solar energy and to conduct and assist in analysis relating to decarbonization of the electric grid and wider energy system. 

Prior to joining SETO, he was a Ph.D. student and researcher at the University of Maryland Joint Quantum Institute. There, he studied quantum information, quantum computing, and atomic physics. His thesis concerned how quantum entanglement could be generated, distributed, and then used to perform novel tasks in sensing, computing, and communication. 

Prior to his Ph.D., Zach attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a B.S. in Physics and a B.A. in Mathematics. Prior to that, he grew up on a small cattle ranch in Northeastern Oklahoma.


Hosts

Kevin Richardson (ASGA) is ASGA’s Outreach Coordinator. He was born in Texas and grew up in the Southern California desert. His background is in environmental advocacy and community organizing, and works to support nonprofits and businesses focused on sustainability. He has a Ph.D. in the environmental history of Japan from UCLA. He lives in Dallas, TX with his wife and two young kids and enjoys running and reading.

Judy St Leger is the new Executive Director of the American Solar Grazing Association (ASGA). She grew up in New York State and graduated from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. For the past 30 years, she’s enjoyed a brilliant career as a veterinary pathologist traveling the globe teaching and working on wildlife health. In 2009, she and her husband, Marc purchased a small, historic farm in the Mohawk River Valley of New York. They have been restoring the farm and raising grass-fed lamb and breeding stock to enhance the American lamb market. Income from the sheep pays for the farm restoration.

In 2018, Judy had her first foray into solar grazing when she partnered with another local farmer to manage  vegetation on a small array. That enterprise led her to meet Lexie Hain and one thing led to another as they tend to do. Judy’s a founding member of ASGA. She sees solar grazing and agrivoltaics  as a way to keep solar farms farming. With the challenges facing the dairy industry in the northeast, shifting to sheep might just be a way to save some farm families. In addition to shepherding, Judy spends time riding horses and promoting her community’s rich history and exciting present.


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