The EWS Sonnenfeld Pellendorf is being built.

19.04.2023: Agriculture is in the foreground at the EWS Sonnenfeld agri-pv plant in Pellendorf, which is currently being built on 4 ha of agricultural land.

Agri-PV-Anlage EWS Sonnenfeld Pellendorf

The major advantages of agri-pv systems for farmers are obvious:

  •     weather- and climate-proof additional income for farmers
  •     no competition for land with food production
  •     increased biodiversity through flower strips
  •     steady solar power production over the course of the day
  •     highest social acceptance
  •     lowest electricity production costs

Increasing drought, storms and freak weather conditions are challenges that have become drastically more acute in recent years. Agri-photovoltaic systems are innovative and contemporary solutions for large-scale solar power generation with multiple uses.

With tractor and combine through the PV modules.

The special feature of the EWS Sonnenfeld® is the control of the movable sun catchers. It takes place via a mobile phone app, with which the modules can be swivelled as required from a horizontal position to an inclination of 70°. In this way, damage caused by flying rocks can be prevented and a high clearance light for large machines can be achieved. In normal operation, the sun catchers follow the sun's course of the day, thus optimally capturing sunlight and continuously feeding solar energy into the grid.

The occupancy design is flexible and is adapted to the cultivated areas, the regional crops and the agricultural equipment. The module tables, which are supported on 2.8 m high driven piles and are 5 m wide, can have a centre-to-centre distance of 9 to 12 m. The first practical experience was gained at the AgriPark.

Initial practical experience has already been gained at the agri-pv pilot plant EWS Sonnenfeld Bruck an der Leitha with mechanical cultivating and spreading of winter seeds and the creation of the biodiversity strip below the rows of module tables in late autumn 2022. They showed that even large machines can get through the rows smoothly and quickly, as can also be seen in the video on cultivation.

Bartolomé Khevenhüller-Metsch from Gugelsolar GmbH, as land owner and project operator of the EWS Sonnenfeld Pellendorf, sees many advantages for agriculture in agri-photovoltaics: "When Joachim Payr approached us with the idea of setting up an agri-photovoltaic system in Pellendorf, we were immediately enthusiastic and quickly convinced. We have been practising arable farming here for many years and this will continue. Different farming concepts are possible. In any case, we are certain of the income from the sale of electricity and it gives us security in times of increasing climate-related crop failures."

Cover 17 % of total electricity consumption in Austria with EWS Sonnenfeldern®.

The potential for agri-pv systems in Austria is enormous: If every second municipality in Austria operates a Sonnenfeld of 10 ha in size, the solar electricity production of 12 TWh generated with it can cover 17 % of Austria's total electricity consumption. And this with an actual land consumption for PV components of only 0.2 ha per agri-pv system. They can be erected quickly and cost-effectively, increase own electricity production in the regions and offer the highest system compatibility for electricity grids and own consumption systems.

"In our ideal scenario, municipalities and cities operate communal Sonnenfelder together with farmers and regional operators with the possibility of citizen participation. They benefit from the electricity price "ex farm" and the added value remains local," says Joachim Payr of EWS, which is implementing the project in the municipality of Gaweinstal in Lower Austria as EPC contractor together with Gugelsolar GmbH.

Am I ready for hectares of solar power?

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An area of at least 5 hectares in size should not be a problem. Will it be suitable for agricultural photovoltaics?
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