The fossil fuel giant and agrivoltaics


From pv magazine France.

French oil and gas giant Total hinted six months ago on social media it wanted to work with French crop microclimate start-up Ombrea to combine “agronomic intelligence and reasoned electrical generation” but its agrivoltaic plans have not taken shape until now.

The fossil fuel company’s Total Quadran renewables unit has signed a contract with farming and environmental consultancy Agrosolutions to accelerate the deployment of agrivoltaic systems.

Total Quadran and Agrosolutions – a subsidiary of France’s first farming co-operative network, InVivo – want to establish an agrivoltaic R&D unit and work with the agricultural industry “to better identify their challenges and offer them realistic, achievable solutions”. A press release issued to announce the partnership also stated an intent to define “concrete economic models” for agrivoltaic projects.

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Under the terms of the tie-up, Agrosolutions will design and develop projects with its partner supplying sun shades, windbreaks, tracker-mounted solar panels and conventional energy self-consumption facilities.

The companies claim to have already identified 200ha of agricultural land which could benefit from solar generation facilities.

Total Quadran said it aims to install nearly 500 MW of solar capacity on agricultural land by 2025, to generate enough power to meet the demand of more than 500,000 people. “We are convinced that cooperation between energy companies and stakeholders in the agricultural world can promote the growth of renewable energies in a way that benefits all stakeholders, said Thierry Muller, MD of the business unit.

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