Purdue University is doing research on agrivoltaics.

Purdue University doctoral students Geoffrey MacRae Sanchez (left) and Varsha Gupta (center), with plant breeding professor Mitch Tuinstra (right), visit their research plots where solar panels stand over soybeans and corn on Sept. 1, 2022 in West Lafayette, Ind. 

Acres of corn stand tall on both sides of a narrow country road in northwest Indiana. It’s late August and the corn is tasseling, its golden crown coated in dew droplets that are glinting off the morning summer sun. Then there is a different gleam on the horizon, one that’s brighter.

Sprouting out of the corn like a super crop are four arrays of solar panels standing 20 feet high and towering above the stalks growing below. Both corn and panels are harvesting the sun.