Solar Power for Vineyards

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  • Developers recently commissioned two different solar power (agrivoltaic) projects linked to wine production in Europe.

Iberdrola commissioned a 40 kW array at the vineyards of Gonzalez Byass and Emperor Group in Guadamur, Spain. The installation will use trackers controlled by an AI algorithm capable of determining the optimal position of the solar panels. The degree of inclination will be established based on information collected by the sensors in the vineyards, which record information related to solar radiation, soil humidity, wind conditions, or thickness of the vine trunk, among others.

González Byass and Grupo Emperador will use the electricity production from the solar array for its wineries located nearby. Iberdrola will monitor the results of the project over the next year and states that it plans to replicate the project in other wine farms in Spain.

Techedge and PVH, a manufacturer of trackers and mounting structures, have also worked on the project, which is being handled by Perseo, Iberdrola’s startup program.

In a separate development, France’s TotalEnergies and Ombrea said they have switched on their first agrivoltaic pilot on the Rivals wine estate in Aude, in southern France. The 85.6 kW project extends over an area of ​​approximately 3,000 square meters. It features Ombrea’s agrivoltaic system, which is controlled by an algorithm based on meteorological and agronomic data collected through sensors.

The pilot will shed light on plant physiology and photosynthetic activity, due to agronomic monitoring conducted in partnership with the French Institute of Vine and Wine (IFV), SudExpé and the Aude Chamber of Agriculture. The two companies said the first visual results for plant growth, water requirements, and temperature variation will be ready by as early as January 2023.

The companies plan to follow up on the research within five years.

“Thanks to the data collected and analysed on this pilot, we will be able, with Ombrea, to refine our knowledge and offer operators high value-added solutions,” said Alexandre Morin, development director for TotalEnergies Renouvelables France.

Author: Pilar Sánchez Molina

This article was originally published in pv magazine and is republished with permission.


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