Agrivoltaics – when land is used for agriculture and solar power generation – isn’t new to the US, but vertical agrivoltaics are.
Next2Sun installs bifacial solar panels on its patented vertical mounting system. It says its system is ideal for agriculture-based installations because it generates power during off-peak hours and avoids overbuilding on agricultural land. The system is already being used on farms in Germany (pictured above).
Construction will begin on the US’s first vertical agrivoltaics system at the beginning of 2024, in Vermont. The system will sit on 3.7 acres and feature 69 vertical rack elements, 30 feet apart, and each will hold two bifacial solar modules. Root vegetables such as carrots and beetroot, as well as saffron, will be planted between the solar rows.
iSun CEO Jeffrey Peck said, “Thanks to the vertical mounting of the modules and the adaptability of the installation to the needs of the farmer, the valuable land is almost completely preserved for agriculture.”
The companies don’t share what power the system will generate, who will benefit from the clean electricity, nor who the client is, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s a small to medium-sized farm because it’s in Vermont.
Photo: Knoblauch GmbH
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