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Agriculture Meets Solar Power

Hand in hand for more climate resilience.

To overview

Farmers: Adapt to climate change with Agri-PV

New synergies between farming and solar power help farmers respond to the challenges of producing food in the 21st century. BayWa r.e. teams are working across Spain and around the world to reconcile agriculture with the reality of climate change.

Agri-PV (sometimes called agrivoltaics) lets farmers keep farming, while reducing their impact on the environment. Installing solar panels on working farmland opens up new revenue streams without disrupting agriculture.

Agri-PV in Spain

Spain’s solar power sector is evolving fast. Red Eléctrica de España’s (REE) 2021 report shows that PV is our fastest-growing technology. The Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) expects 39 GW by 2030.

Because Spain is the EU’s fourth-largest agricultural producer, we have a perfect opportunity to integrate farming with PV projects. Agri-PV can increase a farm’s economic value by up to 30%.

This also brings other advantages. New jobs in rural areas, crop protection from extreme weather, increased biodiversity and food sovereignty make a compelling case for Agri-PV.

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.

Overhead-PV installs stilted modules above growing crops. Interspace-PV places them alongside crops. BayWa r.e. can help choose the best application to suit your site’s unique characteristics.

Interspace-PV: Crops and solar side by side

Installing rows of PV modules parallel to crops ensures 85% of land stays in use for farming. Crops also enjoy limited protection from extreme weather.

Works well with:

  • Arable farming like cereal, potatoes or rapeseed

Advantages:

  • Panels protect the farmland from wind
  • Decreased soil erosion
  • Shading from the panels lowers water demand
  • Modules can be used to harvest rain water
  • Ecosystem protection without changing land use
  • Improved land use efficiency
  • Diversification of income
  • Financial security against crop failure

Overhead-PV: Crop protection and renewable energy

Installing modules above crops is sometimes called fruitvoltaics because of its strong synergies with fruit production. This solution unlocks efficient dual use of farming land, as it produces both crops and clean electricity.

Works well with:

  • Berries like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries
  • Espalier fruit like apples, pears and cherries

Advantages:

  • Crop protection from extreme weather
  • Reduced reliance on single-use plastics
  • Protection for up to 30 years
  • Improved land use efficiency
  • More consistent growing conditions
  • Lower soil evaporation reduces water demand
  • Diversified income and greater financial security
  • Farmers retain 85% of direct payments for arable land

Our expertise

Our teams combine global photovoltaic expertise with a deep knowledge of the Spanish agriculture and energy sectors. Thanks to our network of specialists, you will benefit from our in-depth knowledge and support in all areas:

  • Land needs analysis
  • Feasibility studies
  • Agricultural diagnoses of land
  • Project planning
  • Securing permits
  • Turnkey construction
  • Financing
  • Operation and maintenance
  • Water irrigation
  • Plant physiology

Securing Europe’s first corporate PPA for Agri-PV

We signed the EU’s first Agri-PV corporate PPA, partnering with Velux to develop two solar parks in the region of Andalucia in the South of Spain.

Alongside leading Interspace-PV expertise, we also provided a suite of community and environmental measures. These are now enhancing local biodiversity and fostering engagement with people across the region.

Landowners: Can Agri-PV work for you?

Partnering with us unlocks efficiency and revenue hidden in your land. We want to talk to farmers about how they can reap the benefits of Agri-PV projects:

  • Fruit farms and vineyards of 3 hectares or more are ideal for Overhead-PV projects
  • Grazing land or fields of low-growing crops like wheat are good candidates for Interspace-PV

Your interests stay at the heart of our partnership. If you’d like to start getting more from your land, we’d love to hear from you.

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