Agrovoltaika is a symbiosis of agrarian and energy business

The issue of synergy between the two businesses - from the generation of alternative energy through the sun and agricultural activities - is currently being actively studied around the world. In Ukraine, this innovation is already being actively implemented. In particular, the Kharkiv Energy Cluster in 2020 launched the first agro-photovoltaic project in Ukraine with the assistance of two companies for the supply and installation of solar panels.

As its founder and executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Stanislav Ignatiev explains, the main advantages of innovation are as follows:

  • The land is used in two types of management, which increases the economic effect.
  • The possibility of increasing the yield, especially vegetables, is realized due to the formation of a microclimate to retain moisture and maintain the optimum temperature, as well as the formation of artificial shade during the zenith of the sun.
  • The profit of the land owner (from the sale of energy and agricultural products) increases without additional burden on the land.

According to Stanislav Ignatiev, the domestic agro-photovoltaic project was implemented on the territory of Ukraine LLC of Dergachiv district, Kharkiv region, the new agro-energy farm was named "Solar Smart Energy". Installed power of the first stage - 30 kW, the second - 200 kW. In general, an experimental field with a total area of ​​0.4 ha is now located under the SES.

Initially, during the launch of the first phase, the ground under the solar panels was sown with fodder grasses. They, in comparison with forage grasses on the next sites (at all similar conditions of growth), gave increase in volume of green weight to 35%. The vegetable crops (tomatoes and cucumbers) planted under the second turn gave the increased productivity to 40%. At the same time their fruiting period lasted up to 1 month. The secret lies in the microclimate that forms under the solar panels. The soil temperature remains constant due to shading during the day and keeping the panels warm at night.

In addition, farmers have significant savings on watering, because the moisture almost does not evaporate. It turned out that morning condensate from the soil surface (dew), which accumulates under solar panels, is enough to irrigate plants during the day. Therefore, watering is carried out only in the evening.

Today, the agro-energy enterprise already has 2 MW of solar energy capacity over 6 hectares of agricultural land on which vegetables are grown. Thanks to the new technology, the profitability of agribusiness has almost doubled, and the solar power plant, instead of an acceptable 5-year payback, has as much as 3 years for the projected return on investment.

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Source EcologUA

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