Iberdrola launches Agrovoltaics start-up challenge

This week Iberdrola group said it seeking ideas and solutions that would enable the roll-out of solar PV collocated with agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fish-farming or beekeeping which improve the land use in a sustainable way.

The Iberdrola’s Renewables team of specialists is seeking innovative solutions that allow primary sector activities and solar photovoltaic facilities to complement each other and create synergies on the same land. 

The technological proposals must explore the combination of solar photovoltaic generation with one of the following complementary land uses:

  • Agriculture/Horticulture : proposals are sought to combine different crops with the production of photovoltaic energy.
  • Livestock : proposals are sought to combine different livestock-rearing activities with the production of photovoltaic energy.
  • Fish farming: proposals are sought to integrate the production of photovoltaic energy into fish farming.
  • Bee-keeping or other methods of pollination  

 Iberdrola said proposals could include

  • Solutions that contribute towards improving or optimizing the productivity of the land, minimizing the potential penalty for electricity production.
  • Solutions that lead to better water management, temperature optimization, heat and refrigeration supply for facilities and processes, etc.
  • Solutions offering competitive investment costs compared to conventional photovoltaic solutions.
  • Solutions focusing on minimizing the operating and maintenance costs of photovoltaic plants as well as the costs for the complementary land use.
  • Remotely operated solutions and ones that allow for totally autonomous management.

 Iberdrola will evaluate the proposals in terms of costs, maturity and adaptability of the design, and simplicity. They will also look at the diversity of crops that could be planted, the maximum energy that could be generated, the impact on agriculture and livestock production as well as sustainability issues around land and water use.

Winners will be able to develop a proof-of-concept in collaboration with PERSEO, the innovation arm of Iberdrola, with all costs covered by the company. If the proof-of-concept works, Iberdrola said it may offer the participant the opportunity to scale up the solution by means of commercial agreements. In addition, PERSEO may consider investing in the participant and/or challenge winner. Learn more about the challenge here. The deadline to submit is June 11, 2021.

Source: Renewable Energy