Nathalie and Jacques Etchélécu are the first vegetable growers in France to use Insolight's photovoltaic solution in their greenhouse. Image credit: Insolight

Insolight opens agrivoltaic plant in France

04 June 2024 12:37

CleantechAlps

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Sames/Lausanne - Insolight has opened its first agrivoltaic plant in France in the town of Sames. The greenhouse for growing strawberries covers an area of 3,000 square meters and features photovoltaic panels and dynamic shade screens.

The agrivoltaic solutions specialist Insolight from Lausanne in Switzerland has opened its first agrivoltaic plant in France. According to a press release, the photovoltaic greenhouse for the production of strawberries is situated at “La ferme Etchélécu”, a farm in Sames in the French department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques in the southwest of the country.

The facility, which houses 15,000 strawberry plants across an area of 3,000 square meters, features semi-transparent photovoltaic panels and dynamic shading screens, which helps to regulate the light transmission: If the light is directed past the solar cells, it benefits the growth of the plants. However, when the light rays are optically focused on the solar cells, this generates an electrical current.

With an installed capacity of 190 kilowatts, around 260 megawatt hours of clean energy can be generated. According to the press release, this is enough to supply around 50 households. “Our combination of solar technology and agriculture means that producers can contribute to the energy transition and sustainable agriculture, while also covering their energy needs”, comments Mathieu Ackermann, Technical Director of Insolight.

The Insolight solution with the dynamic shade screen means that strawberries can be grown for an extra two months each year, according to information from the farm owners, Jacques and Nathalie Etchélécu.

In addition to the construction of production facilities for renewable energies and a catalog of crop protection options, Insolight offers end-to-end solutions, ranging from project development and administrative support all the way through to water recovery systems, ad hoc business models and fruit processing, as the company writes in the press release. ce/gba 

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