BayWa re starts building agrivoltaic project in France


From pv magazine France

BayWa re has started building a fleet of semi-transparent modules to be mounted on a fruit farm in Brumath, France.

The Munich-based renewable energy producer said in a press release this week that the project will be the first to feature its semi-transparent panels in France.

The company said it aims to install 1,440 semi-transparent PV modules across 4,900 square meters of strawberry farmland. The modules will be installed above the farm's produce and will replace the current protective plastic sheets. The new system allows 49% of light to pass through.

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BayWa re said the plant will produce the equivalent of 464 MWh per year. After it is commissioned in the first quarter of 2024, it will be connected to Strasbourg Électricité Réseaux. The electricity will be sold on the spot market or through power purchase agreements.

The site owners have grown produce in the region since 1978, but they are now seeing the effects of climate change. Agrovoltaic shades provide favorable conditions for crops, limiting excess heat, the site owners said. They also noted that the sheets improve working conditions by creating a cooler environment compared to working under plastic tunnels. Their goal is to reduce irrigation by 25%.

A plastic tunneling control plot will be used to collect accurate data on fruit production. The data will include fruit size, taste, sugar level, yields and water requirements. Sensors under the panels will measure temperature, light incidence (PAR) and humidity, among other indicators.

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