Insolight completes agrivoltaic plant at raspberry farm


Swiss startup Insolight has installed an agrivoltaic plant spanning 2,600 m2 at a raspberry farm owned by Bioschmid Gmbh, a Lucerne-based organic farm operator.

The 160 kW installation features 800 PERC bifacial modules and an inverter from Chinese manufacturer Huawei. The array also includes an Insolight-designed adjustable reflective screen positioned between the modules and the crops, a control system, and tracking algorithms.

The company said it designed the system to systematically to benefit agricultural activity.

“Parameters such as solar cell coverage, height and pitch of the structure have been designed based on simulations to provide the amount of light that raspberries actually need,” said Insolight CTO Mathieu Ackermann. “Our dynamic shading screen, piloted based on sensor feedback and our own algorithms, provides extra shading during heat waves, and protects the crop from frost during spring.”

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The pilot plant will be monitored over the next three years, with a focus on examining agricultural aspects. The Bern University of Applied Sciences will measure the PV-related performance.

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy supports the Bioschmid agrivoltaic plant through the P+D program (acronym for pilot and demonstration). Other supporters of the project include the Canton of Lucerne (Swisslos), the Fondation sur la Croix, The Foundation Valery, and the involved system suppliers.

The system will sell the energy it produces into the grid. However, no details about the levelized cost of electricity or capital expenditure have been disclosed.

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