Agrivoltaics is the combination of sustainable agriculture and solar power generation on the same agricultural land. Vattenfall has now made a final investment decision for a 76-megawatt solar park Tützpatz in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The project is being set up without state support.
Photovoltaics is now one of the cheapest technologies among renewable energies, and solar power has a high level of acceptance among the population. However, critics of open space photovoltaics fear that expansion could take place at the expense of agricultural land used for food production. The relatively young technology of agrivoltaics, which can reconcile agricultural use and photovoltaics, can help to resolve this competitive situation.
For the first time, Vattenfall will implement this innovative concept of land use on a commercial scale with partners. The aim of the project in Tützpatz is to combine module types on different mounting systems with suitable agricultural uses over an area of 95 ha, and thus gain further practical experience for future commercial projects of this kind. According to current plans, construction at Tützpatz is scheduled to start in early summer 2023.
Claus Wattendrup, Head of the Solar division at Vattenfall, says: “The German government’s goal is to expand electricity generation from photovoltaics to 215 gigawatts by 2030, half of which will be installed on open spaces. Agrivoltaics can help to achieve these goals in addition to traditional open-space PV. With the Tützpatz project, we are developing this young technology further on a commercial scale. Agrivoltaics helps the climate, it can increase biodiversity, and it serves as an additional source of income for agriculture.”
Vattenfall Agri PV project “Symbizon” near Almere (Netherlands)
Vattenfall is already testing the concept of agrivoltaics in the pilot project Symbizon in the Netherlands. The project will soon be in operation close to Almere. It is comparatively small, with an installed capacity of 0.7 MWp.
Experts estimate that around 20 small and medium-sized agrivoltaic projects are currently underway in Germany, each in the single-digit megawatt range.
Facts about the Tützpatz agrivoltaic project
- Installed capacity: 76 MWp
- Area: approx. 95 ha
- Modules: bifacial modules, elevated/vertical tracker system
- Intended agricultural use: organic free-range eggs/agriculture
- Start of construction: planned for early summer 2023
- Solar power is sold via an electricity supply contract (PPA)
By Lutz Wiese