- How can farmers benefit from BayWa r.e.’s Agri-PV systems?
Our Agri-PV systems make the most of the synergies between agricultural production – based on the relevant agricultural usage plan – and the installation of solar panels. In particular, they play an important technical-environmental role in protecting crops against hail and excessive sunlight, and preventing water from evaporating excessively from plants and the soil.
- What are the benefits of partnering with BayWa r.e.?
Within the BayWa Group, we combine agriculture and energy in a unique way. Thirty years of experience in the field of renewable energies have enabled us to acquire robust skills in this sector. We see ourselves as pioneers and friends of the green energy revolution. As our floating photovoltaic systems demonstrate, our ability to innovate has already enabled us to be pioneers in creating dual land use solutions.
Nowadays, we can also add our Agri-PV system to our list of success stories. BayWa r.e. offers a comprehensive range of services and is in a strong financial position. We consistently meet the highest quality standards. In addition to our support as a reliable and competent partner when planning and delivering systems, we also offer to handle the entire operation and management of the system in the long term.
- Do Agri-PV systems risk jeopardising the economic viability of agricultural crops?
No, because as part of the agricultural land usage strategy, a break-even analysis is carried out for the crops concerned. Profit margins for agricultural products must be positive. Our top priority: every project we put in place must improve the agricultural activity on site, in terms of yield, fruit quality and economics – it must represent added value for the farmer.
- Does the way the panels are installed make it difficult to work the land?
The solar panels are installed and spread out over the entire area so that the land can be used largely as before.
- How do you ensure optimal light availability and uniformity for the crops?
The light intensity, shade level and uniformity, as well as their peripheral effects, are examined and configured based on the needs of agricultural production. The transparency afforded by the panels we use is adapted to each crop.
- What restrictions will I face once the fixing system is in place and the panels have been selected?
Our specially adapted transparent solar panels are ideal for growing berries such as raspberries, redcurrants, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries above ground. It is also possible to design the substructure so that it is suitable for growing in the open ground.
- Will my crops get enough water under an Agri-PV system?
Water availability, insofar as it is influenced by the Agri-PV system, is adapted to the growth needs of the crop in question. We ensure that rainwater is distributed evenly to the crops below the Agri-PV system. This process can be further improved with additional technical equipment.
The Agri-PV system allows a drip irrigation system to be installed, as well as a rainwater recovery system, to preserve water resources.
Underneath an Agri-PV system, there are always some areas that are not covered by solar panels.
- Can an Agri-PV system be dismantled?
An Agri-PV system can be completely removed – the land is restored to its original state and remains in agricultural use. When we install and dismantle our systems, we ensure that the soil is not adversely affected by compaction. To do so, we use special machines and tyres and/or removable rails. We also install the system during the off season, thereby ensuring it is the right time of year.
- What foundations are used in an Agri-PV system and how is it fixed?
There are various construction methods that allow for quick and durable fixing in the ground or on soft soil. This creates solid foundations that take into account all key aspects regarding static balance and stability. In all cases, the foundations are always built in such a way that the system can be completely removed.
Banks and Investors
- Is Agri-PV a proven technology?
Agri-PV does not require any new technology. It is simply a new way of using an existing and proven technology. The system is based on the engineering experience of BayWa r.e., which has installed over 1.2 GWp of PV capacity. The structure is maintained by BayWa r.e.’s operation and maintenance team, which guarantees peak performance throughout the project. The yield, risk and administrative costs of a BayWa r.e. Agri-PV system are comparable to those of an investment in our ground-mounted photovoltaic systems since our experienced teams pay close attention to every detail.
- What is the average lifespan of an Agri-PV system?
Like our ground-mounted photovoltaic systems, our Agri-PV systems have a lifespan of over 30 years.
- Who is responsible for operating and maintaining an Agri-PV system?
The experts at BayWa r.e. are responsible for operation and maintenance. Our operation and maintenance teams already have extensive experience in wind and solar farms with a total capacity of over 8.5 GW. Our supervision centre monitors all facilities 24 hours a day.
- What potential do Agri-PV installations offer in the world and in France?
Since 2014, nearly 2,800 Agri-PV systems have been installed worldwide, representing a total capacity of approximately 2.9 GWp. Most of these systems have been installed in Asian countries such as Japan, China and South Korea. Some have also been installed in the United States and Europe. In France, the total potential capacity of Agri-PV systems is already several gigawatts.
- How much does the energy generated by Agri-PV systems cost compared to the energy generated by ground-mounted photovoltaic systems?
Agri-PV is currently more expensive than ground-mounted PV systems as they are designed to favour and optimise agricultural production, sometimes at the expense of PV production. Nevertheless, costs will continue to fall as the technology evolves.