A pattern language for solar photovoltaics

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1 Scopus citations


Renewable energy projects consume wide tracts of land in efforts to harvest low-density energy. These projects are generally implemented in a manner similar to conventional energy, with centralized yet re-mote locations to generate energy and large transmission infrastructure to convey energy from its source to its use. Although it is a promising technology for reducing at-mospheric carbon and for clean energy production, utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems increasingly sprawl across farm land and natural habitat as isolated landscape features. This investigatory study seeks to create preliminary design principles to integrate PV development best practices into the built environment. Using Alex-ander, Ishikawa, and Silverstein’s theoretical framework from A Pattern Language (1977), I propose a new pattern for PV systems based on expert opinion and an exploration of current literature, theory, and practice. The resulting principles serve as a preliminary guide for PV development toward greater integration into urban landscape context and incorporation of synergistic embellishments for en-hanced landscape depth and purpose. Such a pattern for PV design and planning encourages further exploration for future practice and policy to aid in reducing “energy sprawl” as growth in renewable energy systems continues to rise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-37
Number of pages17
JournalLandscape Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Co-location
  • Design context
  • LIPV
  • Multifunctional space
  • Renewable energy
  • Urban integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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