Spanish electric utility Iberdrola SA (BME:IBE) said on Friday it had been awarded four agrivoltaic projects totalling 12 MW in France’s tender for innovative solar installations, which wrapped up earlier this month.
All four projects are for 3-MW systems, which had to be based around innovation, environmental protection, animal and crop care rather than maximum power production, according to Iberdrola.
Because power production was secondary, the tender was centered around contracts-for-difference (CfDs), in which the price per MWh for a 20-year term was set above the market value to compensate projects for putting the livestock and agriculture first, the utility said.
Iberdrola secured awards for the Kirch, Maubec, Lapenche and Solomiac projects.
The Kirch project is set at a cow farm, where Iberdrola placed solar panels at a height of 1.5 metres to create shade for the animals. Some of the features of the system include its ability to collect and store rainwater and sprinkle it back on the cows and their grassy paddock when the temperatures are high. The focus of the Kirch project was on improving the quality of organic milk production at the farm, Iberdrola said.
The other three projects were designed to optimise crop production using solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and trackers. In these systems, the panels are installed in rows from north to south and rotated in an east-west direction to protect the crop from frost in winter or intense sun in summer, the utility explained.
Iberdrola was one of 66 bidders that picked up awards in the solar innovations tender, in which a total of 172.9 MW of projects were successful.
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