Vertical agri-photovoltaics still allows field use
iSun, a U.S. solar company, and Next2Sun, a German agrivoltaic company, are collaboratively constructing a solar system featuring vertically positioned solar modules in the United States. The project, situated on agricultural land in Vermont, is spearheaded by iSun and Next2Sun. Employing agrivoltaics, the integration of solar power generation and agriculture on the same land helps mitigate conflicts over land use.
Vermont is poised to become the inaugural location for the U.S. deployment of Next2Sun's vertical bifacial agri-photovoltaic system. iSun is overseeing the development of this 1.5-hectare project, expected to commence operations in early 2024. Comprising 69 vertical frames, each supporting two bifacial solar modules spaced approximately 9 meters apart, the design allows sunlight to reach the plants cultivated between the rows of modules.
Next2Sun has pioneered vertical bifacial products catering to agricultural, commercial, and private needs, with successful implementations in Germany. The Vermont project involves cultivating crops like carrots, beets, and saffron amidst the solar panels.
The vertical orientation of the modules maximizes exposure to morning and evening sunlight, capitalizing on periods when traditional solar energy production is less optimal. This strategic approach aims to synchronize solar power generation with peak energy consumption times.
The project enjoys support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection. Additionally, the German Energy Agency (dena) is contributing to the initiative by installing reference systems.
Read the original news article in german here.