From pv magazine France
Although solutions to avoid building PV on agricultural land such as agrivoltaics already exist, the major challenge is to make them accessible to farmers.
This is what France-based Sun'Agri, a provider of dynamic agrivoltaic solutions to increase agricultural yields, and RGreen Invest, an independent French management company specializing in green energy infrastructure, have decided to implement through an initiative called “Cultivons Demain!” (Let's grow crops tomorrow!)
In a joint press release, the two entities call on all stakeholders, public and private, concerned about adapting agriculture to climate change to join Cultivons Demain! to offer new technological solutions. Their ambition is to build 300 agrivoltaic farms in France with innovative solutions allowing the improvement of agricultural yields on 1,500 to 2,000 hectares.
These farms, thanks to the infrastructure installed and the technology they embed, will be able to achieve water savings of around 20% and optimize the growth of cultivated plants sheltered from climatic hazards.
To open the financing of Cultivons Demain! to various investors, RGreen Invest has created a dedicated financing structure called Râcine (Root). To date, RGreen Invest, through its Infragreen IV fund — in which the European Investment Bank (EIB) has just invested €75 million — has committed to providing €50 million of equity to project leaders. This contribution will make it possible to raise €200 million.
Driven by farmers convinced of the need to adapt their crops, the initiative mobilizes the French agricultural ecosystem: farmers, banks, insurance companies, communities, agritech companies and Chambers of Agriculture. Cultivons Demain! already has financial support from the EIB and BPI France.
All supporters respect the Cultivons Demain! charter established by Sun'Agri and Râcines that commits to certain principles. The project management has an agronomic aim above all, as the agricultural production takes priority over electricity production. The establishment of control plots, the reversibility of the systems installed or the evaluation, by independent third parties, of the results that will be made public are all crucial guarantees for the farmer.
Infragreen IV is an EIB-backed fund specializing in the financing of energy transition and adaptation to climate change and carries the “Greenfin Label France Finance Verte” (Greenfin Green Finance France Label) certification.
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