Pilot project: fruit and PV

Agri PV, agriculture combined with photovoltaics, is a highly topical issue – especially in regions with intensive land use, such as Baden-Württemberg. On occasion of the inauguration of a pilot project near Heilbronn, regional TV station SWR reported on the issue and its special challenges.

This pilot project at the Heuchlingen experimental fruit plantation was officially put into operation on 17 June 2023 – after three years of preparation. Yes: the idea of growing fruit not in foil tunnels but under a solar roof may be logical and convincing. There are even existing mounting systems for this purpose, such as GMS® DOUBLE from MKG GÖBEL, which was used here. Nevertheless, “Agri-PV” is still a relatively new topic. The participating Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy has been involved in 15 pilot projects so far, and each time different questions had to be answered and approaches to be found. For example: How should the system be classified in terms of the construction laws – as a solar park or as a building? What happens if in a storm people should come to harm by the glass roof?

In Heuchlingen, operator Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Wein- und Obstbau Weinsberg can now start to make actual use of the system. Alongside the power generation, different berry varieties are being cultivated and tested for their use beneath the solar roof. In order to compensate for seasonal fluctuations, the trials are scheduled over several years.

SWR Aktuell 17.05.2023

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