LSU Researchers Design ‘Digital Twins’ of Solar-Farm Infrastructure to Explore Effects on Ecosystems

February 22, 2024

Fabiana Trindade da Silva, Chris Kees and Brett Wolfe

Fabiana Trindade da Silva, Chris Kees and Brett Wolfe

LSU researchers are using physics-based "digital twins" of solar-farming infrastructure to assess and minimize its effects on Louisiana ecosystems, funded by a nearly $500,000 experimental grant from LSU’s Institute for Energy Innovation. 

LSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Chris Kees said digital twins go beyond pure computational models by using data to optimize not just the design but operation over changing, uncertain conditions. 

Kees is working alongside LSU School of Landscape Architecture Professor Fabiana Trindade da Silva and LSU School of Renewable Natural Resources Professor Brett Wolfe to study the effects of solar farming in the state, where the concept is fairly new.

“We will include wind, water, soil, and vegetation interactions, so we’re not only maximizing energy production but also optimizing resilience to flooding and wind," Kees said, "improving the health and biodiversity of native flora, fauna, and soils and improving — on their own terms — the local communities that host large-scale solar deployments."

Fueled by its Scholarship First Agenda, LSU is helping to accelerate the deployment of solar energy production in a manner that does the most good for Louisiana communities and the world.

Learn More about the Solar Farming Research