27.03.2020 | What raspberries, weather and power production have in common
Long, semi-transparent greenhouses cover several square kilometres of agricultural surfaces. Equipped with solar modules they produce green electricity and contribute to agricultural production. Urbasolar, an Axpo subsidiary, has many years of experience in the construction these types of systems. One example is a raspberry plantation in Arnac Pompadour.
Greenhouses line up one next to the other on some sections of the agricultural zone. They cover an enormous surface that can be put to good use for the production of solar power. Our French Axpo subsidiary knows how it works: Urbasolar has been building these types photovoltaic greenhouses for agricultural operations for many years, for example for Marie-Jeanne Lamarche, a raspberry producer in Arnac Pompadour.
More control in cultivation
Photovoltaic greenhouses have several functions: They produce green electricity, protect plants from weather and optimise working conditions. Marie-Jeanne knows about these advantages: "The solar plant on our greenhouse makes my work easier: I can optimally adapt the conditions such as temperature and light in the greenhouse, and use the power produced for self-consumption. This flexibility is positive for my work processes."
Bigger crop thanks to the solar roof
Raspberries are very weather sensitive and the harvest is dependent on storm, hail and frost conditions. Before the construction of the solar plant, the raspberries were constantly exposed to weather swings. Now the producer can focus on above-ground, covered raspberry production. The bushes are less prone to diseases and parasites. "Thanks to the improved conditions in the greenhouse we were able to increase our crop," says Marie-Jeanne. The photovoltaic systems help protect the plants and lengthen production cycles.
Over 40 megawatts from greenhouses
Urbasolar has already realised six photovoltaic greenhouses in France, five more are under construction and four are under development. With these 15 plants that generate over 40 megawatts, the solar developer is contributing to the expansion of renewable energies in France.
The Urbasolar portfolio currently includes operating photovoltaic plants with an installed capacity of 350 MW. In addition, the company has over 1,000 MW in the development pipeline. Urbasolar is active along the entire value change and offers services in the area of repair, maintenance and asset management.