France’s Q Energy has developed a new way to combine solar generation and the cultivation of hops, which can grow up to 8 meters in height. The agrivoltaic system consists of two mounting units with 52 bifacial PV modules.
From pv magazine France
French tech company Q Energy France has switched on an agrivoltaic installation for hop growth on 1 hectare of land in the town of Luçon, France.
Breweries use hops in beer production. The climbing plants can grow up to 8 meters in height. The agrivoltaic system consists of two mounting systems hosting 52 bifacial solar modules. The system has been operational since March.
“This is an innovative and complex prototype that combines agricultural viability and solar power generation while winning the support of all stakeholders,” said Céline Spitzhorn, solar director for Q Energy France.
The pilot project’s results will be validated by the Chamber of Agriculture of the Pays de la Loire region. It will monitor the PV system’s performance, as well as climatic, soil and light conditions. It will also assess the overall efficiency of the systems and their ease of operation.
The capacity of the pilot plant could be expanded to a total capacity of 20 MW on an area of approximately 35 hectares. In addition to producing electricity, the project will supply hops to the 24 microbreweries in Vendée, and ultimately reduce reliance on imported hops.
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