Agri-PV

Together for more Climate Resilience

Did you know you can harvest both crops and green energy on the same stretch of land?

Agri-PV is in our DNA

Agri-PV combines the production of food and energy, allowing a piece of land to be used for both agricultural production and the generation of solar power at the same time.

At BayWa r.e., agriculture is woven into our DNA through our parent company, BayWa AG. Conserving natural resources and making sure there is fertile soil available for food production are especially important to us. By working toward these goals we are supporting our farming industry, while reducing our impact on the environment.

When it comes to growing crops under the PV modules, you will benefit from our extensive knowledge and support in everything from plant physiology to operational management of the system. We support you through the entire process including planning, purchasing, financing and turnkey installation.

Our top priority is that every project we implement provides added value and a financial return for you. Whether you would like to get the maximum benefit from your Agri-PV system and use the generated power yourself, or prefer a leasing or licensing model, get in touch with us to discuss your options!

Harvesting the synergies of two sectors with Agri-PV

Benefits of cultivating your land beneath an Agri-PV system using transparent panels

Solar Gains for Crops

Transparent Agri-PV panels have a lower energy yield than standard solar panels, but they guarantee an ideal, moderate amount of shade and offer maximum protection for your crops. Your growing wires and irrigation systems can be integrated easily and safely into the substructure of our systems.

The cooling effect of the plant growth helps to compensate for the lower energy yield, because solar panels generate the greatest yield when the incident solar radiation is at a maximum and the ambient temperature is as low as possible.

Protection for crops

Protection for crops

Severe or extreme weather phenomena, such as hail, storms, drought, heavy rainfall and heat waves, are becoming increasingly common.

The rows of solar panels in our Agri-PV systems provide the best possible protection for your crops. Furthermore, the panel transparency is adapted to suit each crop and create the best possible conditions for growth.

This can be especially helpful for crops that cannot tolerate direct sunlight.

Long-term Climate Resilience

Long-term Climate Resilience

Climate change is leading to greater use of various systems in agriculture that protect the valuable plants from hail, rain or too much sun. Generally, these systems must be completely replaced every five to seven years. After high winds, for example, foils and nets must be re-anchored or repaired.

This can be expensive and time-consuming work for farmers. Agri-PV replaces short-lived materials and essentially offers the same benefits as conventional hail or rain protection systems but with a longer service life.

Agri-PV systems also allow farmers to cut down on the costs of insurance against hail.

Reduced leaf Wetness Periods

Reduced leaf Wetness Periods

Semi-enclosed Agri-PV systems make it possible to cultivate plants with shorter leaf wetness phases and provide better ventilation for your rows of crops.

Initial results from our pilot installations in raspberry and strawberry fields have shown that these systems reduce the use of pesticides and thereby improve biodiversity in the fields.

We are currently testing whether this beneficial effect can be carried over to other types of berries.

Efficient Water Consumption

Efficient Water Consumption

Underneath an Agri-PV system, you can supply your crops with just the amount of water they need. The moderate shade provided by the panels helps to prevent the evaporation of water from the soil and reduces transpiration in the plants.

Since water consumption can be very high in the agricultural sector, depending on the crop, the Agri-PV systems offer significant added value in regions of low water availability or high levels of sunlight by helping to save on water.

Easier Harvesting of Crops

Easier Harvesting of Crops

Because of the shade and the improved ventilation, the temperature beneath an Agri-PV system is lower than under conventional protective systems. This makes it possible to optimise crop management and create a more comfortable atmosphere for harvesting.

At the same time, farmers have the option of extending the growing period of regional products and thereby lengthening their presence on the market.

Our Activities

Project Structure

Project Structure
Every project has its own unique set of requirements, and structure each one in a bespoke manner offering everything from financing to grid connection and direct marketing or PPAs.

Operational Management

Operational Management
Your Agri-PV project will benefit from our control rooms in Munich and Bangkok, ensuring your system is efficient and your yields are optimized, 24/7.
Read more

Plant Physiology

Plant Physiology
Our in-house agricultural experts at BayWa AG are on hand to help with any questions about plant physiological aspects.
Any questions? Contact us

Distribution of Fruit Products

Distribution of Fruit Products
For the distribution of fruit products, please contact our experts from Global Produce at BayWa AG.
Any questions? Contact us

Agricultural Machine Technology

Agricultural Machine Technology
If you need advice on the best machinery to help tend your Agri-PV plant, we have all the expertise in house.

Irrigation Systems

Irrigation Systems
Ensuring the right level of irrigation for you Agri-PV site is key to its success. Luckily we have a wealth of experience to help you strike the right balance.
Any questions? Contact us

Project Development

Project Development
As your Agri-PV partner, we’re here to help your project right from the planning stage and through development, including site analysis and yield prognosis.

Engineering, Procurement & Construction

Engineering, Procurement & Construction
We are your reliable and experienced engineering, procurement and construction contractor, working not only on our own developments, but also for third parties.

Do you own a suitable piece of land?

We Are Interested in

Lands used for the cultivation of permanent cultures or special crops such as fruit, including grapes for wine, in which the cultivation system can be replaced with innovative Agri-PV solutions. (Minimum area: approx. 3 ha.)

You benefit from lower investment, maintenance and operating costs while reducing the short-lived materials used for crop protection!

At the same time, we are offering you, as a farmer, the opportunity to become a co-investor and therefore co-owner of the Agri-PV system, which will allow you to diversify and stabilise your income through the sale of green electricity. 

Farmers can make a major contribution to boosting the level of sustainability by enabling a twofold harvest on their fields.

Stephan Schindele
Head of Agri-PV at BayWa r.e.

Solar installations bear fruit for Netherlands Agri-PV

Fruit growing is an important part of the Netherlands’ agricultural sector, with the climate lending itself to a range of crops, from raspberries and strawberries to apples and pears. 

However, the same climate also comes with its own challenges for fruit farmers, who need to protect their crops from extremes of weather such as hail, rain and strong direct sunlight. And these extreme weather events are predicted to increase due to climate change.    

Historically, the structures used to protect fruit crops often succumb to the ravages of weather or to daily wear and tear, with regular replacement and disposal required. A process which can be expensive and time consuming for farmers.

Read more

Frequently asked questions about our Agri-PV solution

  • How can farmers benefit from BayWa r.e.’s Agri-PV systems?

    Our Agri-PV systems make the best possible use of the synergy between crop production, according to the agricultural utilisation plan involved, and the installation of solar panels. This is true especially of the important techno-ecological effects concerning the protection of crops from hail and excess sunlight, and from excess evaporation of water from the plants and soil.

  • What are the advantages of a partnership with BayWa r.e.?

    The BayWa Group combines agriculture and energy in a unique way. More than 30 years of experience in the field of renewable energy have given us comprehensive expertise in this sector, so we view ourselves as both forerunners and friends of the green energy revolution. Our capacity for innovation, as demonstrated by our floating photovoltaic systems, has already made us a pioneer in the creation of dual land-use solutions. Now, we’re adding to this successful track record with Agri-PV. We are a full-service provider with a solid financial foundation, and we consistently adhere to the highest standards of quality.

    Our parent company, BayWa AG, generates annual turnover of approximately 17.2 billion euros and has been doing business in the agricultural sector since 1923. Furthermore, in addition to our support as an expert partner during the planning and realisation of the system, we also offer to look after the entire operations and management of the system in the long term.

  • Do Agri-PV systems impair the economic viability of agricultural crops?

    No, because in the framework of the strategy for the agricultural use of the land, a break-even analysis must be carried out for the crops involved. The profit margins for the agricultural products must be positive. Our top priority: Every project that we implement should provide added value for you as a farmer and generate a financial return.

  • Does the way the panels are mounted make it more difficult to work the land?

    The solar panels have to be installed and distributed across the overall project area in such a way that the land can continue to be used as it was previously, for the most part. The vertical clearance of the Agri-PV systems must comply with the laws on occupational health and safety, and be at least 2.1 meters in any event. The panels must be mounted in such a way that the land can still be worked.

  • How do you ensure the optimal availability and uniformity of light for my crops?

    The light intensity or degree of shading and the uniformity of the light, as well as peripheral effects, are examined and configured for the needs of the specific agricultural products. The transparency of the panels that we use is adapted to the particular crop involved.

  • With regard to crop changes, what restrictions am I under once the mounting system has been established and the panels have been chosen?

    Our specially designed transparent solar panels are ideal for berries like raspberries, currants, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. The substructure can also be designed in such a way that cultivation in soil is possible, e.g. for perennial raspberries. In the case of cultivation in a substrate, the rotation of crops plays a role with regard to soil exhaustion. The same is true for perennial crops, such as espalier fruit or wine grapes, especially considering that these crops are in place for over 15 years and might then be replanted or grafted.

  • Will my crops get enough water underneath an Agri-PV system?

    The availability of water, to the extent influenced by the Agri-PV system, is adapted to the growing conditions of the crop in question. We take care to ensure a uniform distribution of rainwater for the crops beneath the Agri-PV system, and this can be optimised through extra technical equipment. Beneath an Agri-PV system there will also always be some areas that aren’t covered by solar collectors.

  • Is soil erosion a problem?

    We offer appropriate technical solutions for this and take the agricultural requirements into account. There is a certain maximum width to be respected for any row of panels. Likewise, collection basins or draining equipment can be used for rainwater. Systems for distributing rainwater can also prevent the formation of icicles in the winter.

Solar Projects

We know Solar. For over ten years we have been planning, funding, constructing and maintaining solar projects all over the world. Whatever your need, we have the worldwide expertise.
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Floating-PV

Our floating solar systems are transforming underused bodies of water, turning them into renewable energy projects and providing benefits for landowners and clean energy for the world.
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Services

At BayWa r.e. we manage and maintain over 10 GW of solar, wind and bioenergy assets across the world. We provide every level of service to ensure your projects achieve their highest potential.
Find out more

Solar Projects

We know Solar. For over ten years we have been planning, funding, constructing and maintaining solar projects all over the world. Whatever your need, we have the worldwide expertise.
Find out more

Floating-PV

Our floating solar systems are transforming underused bodies of water, turning them into renewable energy projects and providing benefits for landowners and clean energy for the world.
Find out more

Services

At BayWa r.e. we manage and maintain over 10 GW of solar, wind and bioenergy assets across the world. We provide every level of service to ensure your projects achieve their highest potential.
Find out more
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Contact information

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Agri-PV
Stephan Schindele
agripv(at)baywa-re.com
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