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For their innovative “fruitvoltaic” system in the Netherlands, which combines food and energy production, BayWa r.e. was awarded the smarter E AWARD in the category “Outstanding Project”.
The construction of the project in Babberich was completed in July 2020 and it is the largest and technologically most sophisticated fruitvoltaic solution in Europe.
The smarter E AWARD is rewarding solutions and concepts that draw on renewable energy, decentralization, and digitalization to connect different aspects of energy. The Outstanding Projects category recognizes realised projects undertaken in the areas of solar, storage, energy management and clean transportation.
The project in Babberich has a capacity of 2.67 MWp and is spread over 3.3 hectares of a raspberry farm. Due to the special construction of the semi-transparent photovoltaic roof, there is no need for plastic arches to protect against extreme weather events. The solution provides a stable climate for growing fruits and generates green energy at the same time.
Stephan Schindele, Head of Product Management Agri-PV at BayWa r.e., stated: “Our system has positioned us as one of the main drivers of Agri-PV in Europe, and I understand this award as further independent proof of the outstanding quality of our Agri-PV solution. We strive constantly to further develop our systems in ways that are more innovative and can contribute to a sustainable future.”
“BayWa r.e won the award because they set an example with this unique Agri-PV system”, said Hans-Christoph Neidlein, Senior Editor pv Europe. “It shows that agricultural production and solar power generation can be combined for the benefit of both sectors. We rewarded this project because it unites social, environmental and economic benefits.”
BayWa r.e. aims to develop 250 MWp Agri-PV by 2025. Together with apple and berry producers, the company is developing projects to demonstrate that Agri-PV helps farmers adapt to climate change while contributing to decarbonization and climate protection.
BayWa r.e.’s projects also show that fruit quality can be improved and production costs reduced. A win-win situation for agriculture and the renewable energy industry – together against climate change.