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Development of Natural and Sustainable UV-Blocking Compounds by an Algal-Based System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2019-00750
Agency Tracking Number: 2019-00750
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.8
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-006649
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-04-14
Small Business Information
16121 Lee Road, Suite 110, Fort Myers, FL, 33912-2512
DUNS: 079824179
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William Porubsky
 Senior Director R&D
 (239) 284-1163
Business Contact
 Quang Ha
Title: General Counsel
Phone: (239) 498-2000
Research Institution
In order to meet growing demands of renewable energy photovoltaic (PV) developments willrequire significant land space for ground-mounted PV systems. This growing demand is creatingcompetition for land resources causing the most challenges for small and mid-size farms. Thischallenge can be reformed into an environmental and financial opportunity for these farms withthe increased research of co-locating solar energy and agriculture (agrivoltaics)on the same pieceof land. Technological breakthroughs in efficiency and transparency of solar panels can bedirectly applied to agriculture. We will study various types of solar transparency in theagricultural setting so we can bridge the gap between current agricultural practices and solarenergy development.This study is a continuation of a pilot study conducted this past summer as a collaborationbetween Sandbox Solar and Colorado State University. This study will replicate our pilotresearch on a larger scale with documentation and replications of growing conditions. Based onprevious research we expect to see a marginal decrease of crop yield depending on the paneltransparency.The study will reveal the exact growing conditions and suitable crop pairing with varioustransparent solar panels. Anticipated applications are PV integrated greenhouses solar hightunnel structures or raised carport PV structures. The PV energy of these applications can eitherbe self-sustaining for the farm in order to reduce its carbon footprint and energy costs or theenergy can be sold back to the utility as a revenue source and sustainable community initiative.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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