France's TotalEnergies and agrivoltaics specialist InVivo recently commissioned a 111 kW vertical agrivoltaic demonstrator in Valpuiseaux, a municipality in northern France.
TotalEnergies said the pilot facility will investigate the impact of solar panels on agricultural yield, as well as the biodiversity, carbon storage, and water quality of the site. The agrivoltaic system relies on bifacial solar modules and vertical mounting systems provided by unnamed manufacturers.
“This demonstrator symbolizes our approach to agrivoltaic projects! We are convinced that the synergies developed between the production of green electricity, biogas and agriculture are one of the answers to guarantee our energy independence and our food independence,” said Thierry Muller, managing director of TotalEnergies Renouvelables France.
In October 2021, TotalEnergies switched on its first 240 kW agrivoltaic demonstrator plant in Channay, northeastern France. The project was developed with the support of German startup Next2Sun Mounting Systems, with which signed an exclusive partnership agreement with TotalEnergies in March 2020.
According to a recent German study, vertical installations could have a beneficial effect in stabilizing the country's grid, while allowing greater integration with agricultural activities than with conventional ground-mounted PV plants. The scientists found that vertical PV systems could shift solar yield into hours of higher electricity demand and more electricity supply in the winter months, thus reducing solar curtailment.
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