From pv magazine France
French manufacturer of agricultural shade houses, Ombrea, and France-based renewable energy company RES have joined forces to develop special solar blinds for agrivoltaic projects.
The partnership between the two companies aims to offer farmers an alternative to the hazards they encounter on a daily basis. The shade systems they want to design should recreate a microclimate adapted to the needs of crops, in order to ensure their good development and to protect them from extreme climatic phenomena such as hail, frost, and drought. The software intelligence deployed by Ombrea makes it possible to anticipate and react to unfavorable weather conditions.
According to Ombrea, the shade systems can be used in agrivoltaic projects in market gardening, horticulture, viticulture, and arboriculture. “We are working on many projects aimed at developing synergies between agriculture and solar energy production,” Declares Céline Spitzhorn, solar director at RES, said. “RES and Ombrea have the common ambition of supporting the agricultural transition by positioning themselves as innovative and committed players.”
Julie Davico-Pahin, co-founder and CEO of Ombrea, added, the partnership is aimed at creating synergy between the different areas of expertise of the two companies. “Driven by common values and objectives, Ombrea and RES open up new opportunities for the agricultural sector,” she stated.
Ombrea installed its first mobile shade system on a vineyard in Rians, France, in November 2019. “With our solution, there was a drop of one degree of alcohol on the first harvest,” said, at the time, Davico-Pahin. “With climate change, the drought and the sun is too strong on the vines. Sugar levels rise very quickly in the grapes and, consequently, the rate of alcohol increases sharply in the wine. For example, wines with 15 alcohol [proof] are obtained.”
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Spring hailstorms are are quite frequent in wine-growing regions in France, and cause considerable damage. For instance, https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/hail-bordeaux-vineyards-2020-436686/ Expect to see some big names trying out agrivoltaics.
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