"Climate Star" for EWS Sonnenfeld energy future project

02.05.2023: On 27 April, Bruck an der Leitha was awarded the European Climate Protection Prize for the Agri-PV pilot plant with electricity & food from the farm. The municipality is justifiably proud of the fact that it thus plays a significant role in sustainable energy supply.

Almost 2,000 municipalities, cities and regions from 27 countries were invited. 16 of them received a Climate Star at a festive gala in Grafenegg Castle (Lower Austria) to show which projects are already working well. "The winners are role models for all European municipalities. They encourage us to take sustainable steps and to initiate pioneering climate projects," said Petra Schön, Managing Director of Climate Alliance Lower Austria, in the press release.

The Upper Austrian competence company for renewable energies EWS Consulting GmbH and Energiepark Bruck a. d. Leitha GmbH implemented the 5.5 ha Agri-PV plant last year with the support of the Climate and Energy Fund and ceremonially commissioned it on 10 November. Since then, the EWS Sonnenfeld in Bruck/Leitha has been supplying clean electricity for more than 1,000 households. Wheat, poppy and potatoes, among others, grow between the rows of module tables with tracked and controllable solar catchers. Further Sonnenfeld projects are already in the pipeline in Upper Austria, Styria and Tyrol.

EWS Managing Director Joachim Payr: "Our team has achieved a breakthrough with the EWS Sonnenfeld®: Photovoltaic components only consume around 2 % of the area at the Sonnenfeld. Food grows on 80 % and a flowering strip ensures biodiversity and soil health on the remaining 18 %."

In addition to the use of forward-looking technologies, the focus on sustainable research and knowledge transfer, which is guaranteed by the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, also scored points. Over the next three years, the interactions of multiple use will be investigated in various zones, above all to determine the additional or reduced yield of regionally typical crops. Sensors and measuring instruments will document the influence of various parameters on yields.

Municipal Sonnenfelder as a turbo for the energy transition

"If every second municipality implements a 10 ha agri-PV system, we can thus generate 12 TWh of solar electricity with the lowest land consumption. That corresponds to 17% of Austria's total electricity consumption and would take us a long way towards CO2-free energy production and climate neutrality," says Joachim Payr about the great potential of EWS Sonnenfeldern®.

It is the responsibility of municipalities, cities and countries to use this potential. With the EWS Sonnenfeld in the municipality of Bruck an der Leitha, we show that innovative and nature-friendly solutions are economically feasible and climate protection projects can be implemented quickly and cheaply.

If you would also like to implement a communal solar field in your municipality/town, you can make a non-binding enquiry right now via the EWS Land Check with just a few details. We will be happy to advise you and help you turn your project idea into a sustainable climate protection project with citizen participation.

Read the press release from Climate Alliance Lower Austria (in German) here.

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