We set new standards in Agri-PV
Agri-PV (also known as agrivoltaics) is the practice of building solar farms on agricultural land. Land is a scarce resource, particularly here in Germany. We combine the long-term success of our parent company, BayWa AG, with our extensive experience in developing renewable energy projects in order to ensure land use efficiency.
We collaborated with 16 representatives of the German agricultural, solar and research sectors to pioneer the first industry standards for Agri-PV. In May 2021, these were approved and published as DIN SPEC 91434 - 2021-05 - Beuth.de.
DIN SPECs are respected worldwide as instruments for turning new research into marketable products fast. DIN's job is to ensure that their standards reflect the state of the art and don’t conflict with other existing standards.
Overhead-PV vs Interspace-PV: What’s the difference?
Our engineers, designers and project managers are experts in their fields. Enjoy their support in everything from plant physiology to operational management of your new solar power system. We give you tangible long-term value from planning and financing to purchasing and turnkey installation.
These projects are designed around each site’s unique characteristics. Depending on what you need, we specialize in two applications of Agri-PV.
Interspace-PV: Crops and solar side by side
Rows of PV modules installed parallel to growing crops improve land use efficiency without compromising on agriculture. 85% of land stays in use for farming, while crops enjoy some protection from the effects of climate change.
Works well with:
- Arable farming like cereal, potatoes or rapeseed
- The panels protect the farmland from wind, decreasing soil erosion
- Shading from the panels lowers the site’s overall water demand
- Agri-PV modules can be used to harvest rain water
- Ecosystems can be restored without a complete change in land use
- Improved land use efficiency
- Diversification of farmers’ income and financial security against crop failure
Overhead-PV: Crop protection and renewable energy
Sometimes known as fruitvoltaics because of its strong synergies with fruit production, this method unlocks dual use of farming land. Agri-PV systems installed above crops add protection from increasingly common extreme weather. Land then performs two critical roles by producing both crops and clean electricity.
Works well with:
- Berries like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
- Espalier fruit like apples, pears and cherries
- Crops are protected from extreme weather conditions by PV modules
- No more single-use plastics, foil, or hail nets needed
- Long-term protection for as long as 30 years
- Higher land use efficiency
- More consistent growing conditions for crops
- Reduced water demand due to less evaporation from soil
- Farmers diversify their income and enjoy greater financial security
- Farmers remain entitled to 85% of direct payments for arable land
Hear how Agri-PV is transforming the renewable market
Stephan Schindele, Head of Agri-PV at BayWa r.e., was interviewed by the German Energy Agency for North Rhine-Westphalia. Hear him talk about the political and regulatory challenges facing agrivoltaics in the region.