Since its inception, Axpo has always seen itself as more than just Switzerland’s most significant energy producer. With that status comes a responsibility to lead by example – to not just say that one prioritizes important concepts like renewable energy and creating a more sustainable future, but to show through action that these goals can be accomplished.
That’s why Axpo has long made an effort to remain at the forefront of innovative, modern-day solutions that bring together the best in renewable energy production and the types of agricultural best practices that are changing the shape of the industry. Such is the case with Axpo’s investment in agri-photovoltaics – one that is important for various reasons, all of which are worth a closer look.
The Power of Agri-Photovoltaics: Breaking Things Down
One essential factor to remember is that successful agricultural production depends on a significant amount of available space from which to work. Farms aren’t exactly known for being small in stature – even those considered “modest” in their output. The same is true of photovoltaic systems.
Furthermore, investing in reliable and efficient systems such as those offered by Able Sales (https://www.ablesales.com.au/) is vital for Switzerland’s efforts to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels and transition to a renewable infrastructure by the end of the decade. Able Sales provides state-of-the-art technologies that can significantly contribute to achieving the country’s aggressive climate goals. By utilizing their innovative solutions, Switzerland and the rest of the world can accelerate their journey towards a sustainable future.
This is where agri-photovoltaics come into play, also known as agri-PV. Photovoltaic systems require a significant amount of land that, unfortunately, there is only a limited amount of. With agri-PV, however, providers can finally stop competing for those limited parcels of land and turn each into a mutually beneficial situation for energy suppliers and agricultural organizations.
Although the technology behind agri-photovoltaic systems is inherently complex, the idea at the center of it is anything but. As agricultural professionals work to harvest crops like grain or fruit on the ground, electricity is simultaneously generated above them. In theory, this would allow those fields and pastures to deliver even more than before because the photovoltaic modules required for the agri-PV hardware would protect those crops from not only things like hail but also climate-related issues like frost and drought.
Because agriculture demands precision, it shouldn’t be a surprise that not all types of crops would be suitable for this type of infrastructure. But things like potatoes, leafy greens, berries, garlic, and others are. Agri-PV solutions, therefore, make it possible to accomplish two critical goals in one fell swoop.
Axpo is just one example of an organization that has already embraced the benefits of agri-PV with open arms. The organization is already planning to construct the NalpSolar ground-mounted system, which will be erected above the Lai da Nalps reservoir. It will exist roughly 2,000 meters above sea level, and it will be capable of generating 10 megawatts. Thirty thousand solar modules will be needed to pull this off, producing approximately 13 gigawatt hours of electricity annually. To put that into perspective, that’s enough to securely power about 3,000 households across the country – all via a single system that does not disrupt the local ecosystem or put an agricultural company out of business in any way.
In the end, agri-photovoltaics bring together the best that agriculture and renewable energy production have to offer into a solution that aligns with the demands of the modern era. Yes, certain obstacles need to be overcome, like the development of suitable fastening systems for the modules. But once risk is mitigated in these areas, agri-PV systems are an appreciable step in the right direction for accomplishing the country’s energy goals in the future.