- BayWa has completed an agrivoltaic solar project in the Netherlands with 1.2 MW capacity
- It is built with over 4,500 solar panels, covering redcurrant cultivation in Wadenoijen region
- The final project is a result of several pilot experimental projects the company has been conducting in the country since 2019
German renewable energy company BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH has commissioned an agrivoltaic project with 1.2 MW capacity in the Netherlands. It is an expansion of the original pilot project the company set up in 2020 with its Dutch subsidiary GroenLeven.
Equipped with more than 4,500 solar panels, the project generates enough clean energy to power around 400 households annually, according to the German company. The agrivoltaic facility has come up on Rini Kusters’ fruit farm in Wadenoijen region where redcurrents are grown.
Before the pilot was launched in 2020 in collaboration with Wageningen University and Research, the company conducted first trials in 2019 with 2 types of panels including a semi-transparent variant for raspberries. All these experiments aimed at understanding the effectiveness of installing solar panels above different types of soft fruit.
BayWa explained that with the solar panels covering the fruits, the farm can do away with plastic arches while extending protection from extreme weather, something that should make the farmers happy. “On the hottest day last year (2020) it was 10°cooler under the solar panels. On the wettest day, the plants remained dry. It’s a solution that I really believe in,” said farmer Rini Kusters.
“These pilot projects were a real success. We monitored not only the climate under the panels, but also the plant health and fruit growth,” said Product Manager Agri-PV at BayWa, Stephan Schindele while sharing that the company had previously created one of the largest and ‘most technologically sophisticated’ ‘fruitvoltaic’ solutions in Europe in 2020, with its 2.67 MW raspberry PV installation in Babberich.
More agrivoltaic projects are set to roll out of BayWa’s stable for pear, apple and other fruit producers, with a combined capacity of 35 MW by 2022, all in Europe.
On a different topic, BayWa will be speaking at the TaiyangNews Solar Tracker Conference on April 13, talking about Experience with Tackers from a Globally Leading Developer. Free registration here.