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solar and agriculture

Integrating big solar into olive groves

German energy company Steag wants to build three PV plants totaling 244 MW across several olive groves in the southern Italian region of Apulia. The unsubsidized agrivoltaic projects are expected to sell electricity through power purchase agreements. The distance between the rows of the olive grove and the photovoltaic system has been specifically designed both to avoid shadowing and allow the passage of the automatic machinery necessary for the cultivation of the olive trees.

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Israeli government wants to boost development of agrivoltaics

The Israel Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Agriculture have decided to implement a pilot research program to assess the feasibility of agrivoltaic projects in the country. The possibility of combining PV and agriculture in a land with limited land availability and increasing energy demand is considered a win-win solution by the government.

Jamaica turns to solar for irrigation, water treatment

The Jamaican government has tendered a solar project intended at powering a water treatment plant and has also announced it will power, with PV, all irrigation systems operated by the National Irrigation Commission.

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The world has 53 million hectares of abandoned cropland suitable for PV deployment

Researchers in Norway have mapped all cropland areas that were abandoned between 1992 and 2015 and found that the vast majority is suitable for PV and bioenergy deployment. Around 30% is located in Asia, followed by the Americas, with a 28% share, and Africa, with a percentage of 22%. Europe and Oceania had shares of 20% and 5%, respectively.

India tenders 6.4 GW of PV for agricultural load power demand

Solar power developers have until December 28 to bid for an aggregate 6.4 GW of grid-connected solar power capacity in Andhra Pradesh, which will be spread across 10 locations in the state. The Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation will serve as the offtaker and supply the power procured from these projects to meet the demand of agricultural loads in the state.

Agrivoltaic beekeeping project in Spain

Endesa plans to set up beekeeping projects at two of its PV plants. The pilot initiative will include the cultivation of 3 hectares of plants that will be pollinated by bees.

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French consortium wants to mobilize €1 billion for agrivoltaic projects

Sun’Agri and RGreen Invest have launched an initiative aimed at deploying around 300 agrivoltaic projects in France by 2025.

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Agrivoltaics for pear orchards

Belgian researchers are testing agrivoltaic power generation in a pear orchard. The first pilot project features specially designed 185 W solar panels with transparent backsheets, conventional silicon cells, and a 21% efficiency rate.

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Thin-film agrivoltaic solar tubes

German tech company Tube Solar AG has secured €10.8 million to develop its cylindrical agrivoltaic modules. The lightweight devices could also be used on roofs until now considered unsuitable for PV.

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A solar tree for agricultural applications

The Internet of Things (IOT)-enabled solar tree — using 35 solar PV panels with a 330 Wp capacity each — is especially useful for the agricultural community in providing electricity for high-capacity water pumps, e-tractors and e-power tillers. It can also allow precision agriculture through IoT-enabled features such as real-time humidity, wind speed, rainfall prediction and soil health monitoring.

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