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Agrivoltaics: seamlessly blending solar energy and agriculture

Agrivoltaics, Agri PV, APV, and solar farming are all terms we’re hearing more frequently within the solar industry and from policymakers. So, what exactly is agrivoltaics, why is it important, and what has Lightsource bp been doing in this space?

Watch: Agrivoltaics explained

Agrivoltaics refers to a dual land use combining solar energy generation with agricultural production. There are a range of different agrivoltaic systems and configurations that cater to different agricultural activities.

Compatible, supportive, and economically viable

What is critical is that the system must be designed in a way that is compatible with its environmental context, supports the chosen agricultural activity, and is economically viable to develop and operate.

Each site and environmental context is different and therefore careful consideration must go into designing agrivoltaic solutions to ensure they are suitable and feasible.

Since our early days at Lightsource bp, we’ve sought out co-use opportunities on our sites in the UK. Many of our operational sites are home to sheep and honeybees, a practice that is now being established in many other Lightsource bp locations, including Spain, the US and Australia.

Evolving technology and innovation

The technology in this space is rapidly evolving and we have some exciting innovations coming through the pipeline.

We’ve recently entered Taiwan where our flagship project is a 100MW* equivalent fishery solar project, one of the largest of its kind in Taiwan. In Italy, many local authorities require us to demonstrate a viable agrivoltaic solution, and we’re currently designing sites to support a range of agricultural options including olive trees and rosemary crops. As we enter the French market, it is likely that all our projects will need to be designed to support a range of agricultural activities to be aligned with industry trends and expectations.

Discover more about these and our other environmental stewardship initiatives.

*The video refers to Budai’s previous size, the project is now confirmed at 100MW

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