Land resources are scarce. We need to find ways to tackle concerns in both food security and biodiversity, while at the same time securing clean and affordable energy.
These challenges must be met with innovative solutions. One such solution is multifunctionality and dual use of land, combining renewable energy with agriculture for a synergistic approach.
“The combined production and benefit from solar energy and field crops will be larger, than in a field with either solar panels or field crops.”Johannes Ravn Jørgensen, Professor of Agroecology at Aarhus University
Joining forces to propel the green transition
We highly value collaborating with partners and universities. It is vital to promote their research in renewable energy and contribute to the advancement of the sector. Flakkebjerg Solar Park is a joint project between European Energy, Aarhus University, Copenhagen University and Slagelse municipality, and funded by Innovation Fund Denmark, to test the combination of solar power and crop growth in a shared space. The expected yield is about 80% for both solar energy and crops, compared to an agricultural space dedicated to only one of the purposes. Therefore, the result is a park, which in total produces more combined solar energy and field crops (160%), than either would produce alone (100%).
Custom solutions and new designs
At Flakkebjerg, we have designed our own solar panel solutions. Our in-house system, which uses hydraulic lifting mechanisms, allows our installation team to install the large structures close to the ground safely and efficiently, and can raise the solar panels to their utilisation height when finished.
By developing the technology ourselves, we can also find innovative means in the application of the solar panels. Our tracker system function so that the panels follow the sun’s position throughout the day, thus generating more energy in peak hours during the morning and evening, when the prices are highest. Furthermore, the tracker system can also be operated manually, tilting the panels into gate mode, so large agricultural machinery can drive among the panels and work on the crops.
Furthering the research in renewable energy
Besides our work with agri-PV at Flakkebjerg, we also have a test facility in Risø, Denmark in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). In Risø, we actively test solar technology using trackers, bifacial modules, agri-PV, and more. Since the facility’s inauguration, a large number of research articles have been published, and it has allowed European Energy to become one of the only larger developers in Denmark to install utility scale tracker plants and bifacial panels.
If you want to know more, you can contact our experts within solar technology and innovation