Valmont Solar contributes to agrivoltaics development in Europe

Infrastructure builder and agriculture innovator Valmont Industries through its subsidiary Valmont Solar announced that it has joined the SYMBIOSYST EU project to support innovation for agrivoltaic installations across Europe, helping to drive agrivoltaic projects development and create European standards for agrivoltaic applications.

Over the past decade, many external impacts have induced an urgent need for clean energy independence in Europe, while limited land resources have constrained clean energy deployment.

Challenges from solar installation land limitations run into equally important food generation needs, which creates the opportunity to use the promise of technology for real-world solutions.

—said Matteo Demofonti, Business Line Manager for Valmont Solar Europe.

As the name indicates, agrivoltaics is a combined approach maximizing land use by jointly growing specialized food crops under and around solar installations, creating a symbiotic relationship that allows the plants to benefit from either shade or panel bases as growing support for vines, for example.

Convert Tracker Technology by Valmont Solar
Photo: Valmont Solar

The SYMBIOSYST EU project centers on adapting standardized and cost-effective solutions to the specific needs of various crops in different climates and planting conditions, which involve tailor-designed solar PV modules, mounting structures and operation and maintenance practices.

Valmont Solar specializes in solar panel tracking system research and manufacturing. Its flagship Convert technology will be a vital component of the SYMBIOSYST EU project. The company's unique experience will be applied in developing, designing and implementing three specific steel mono-axial tracker structures and solar module tilting as well as the monitoring control system for three different open agrivoltaic scenarios involving the production of vegetables and fruit trees.

These agrivoltaic structures aim to preserve the continuity of the farming activities below the solar systems, which are equipped with Valmont Solar's latest Convert Control System. The system allows continuous monitoring of all agricultural and tracker parameters as support to the production optimization process.

Meanwhile, Valmont Solar will contribute its Convert technology's know-how to explore the development of innovative solutions for climate and crop-based reliability and performance of agrivoltaics, which focuses on the analysis of the whole system from a global point of view.

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