Is it possible to feed citizens and the grid at the same time? The construction of insolagrin Conthey in Valais (Switzerland), a highly innovative solar power plant, provides some elements of answer. This is the first time – worldwide – that this new agrivoltaic technology has been deployed on a large-scale pilot. The first raspberries from the project were harvested in late summer, launching a four-year program to analyze and optimize agricultural and electrical yields. These results could pave the way for large-scale, unprecedented solar deployments, bringing a new solution without additional land take.

The pilot project, which was created by the three partners Insolight, Romande Energie and Agroscope, is operational at the Agroscope site in Conthey (VS) since July 2021. The installation, which is supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), covers an area of 165m 2 and will be used for the growth of raspberries – and strawberries from 2022 onwards – under cover in pots. Insolight develops and supplies the solar module technology and the light control system. Agroscope studies plant physiology, yields and crop quality. Romande Energie built the installation and supervises the energy production. Over the next four years, agricultural and electrical yield data will be collected and analyzed to optimize the performance of the installation.

Revolutionary Swiss solar technology

This solution – developed by Swiss start-up Insolight – incorporates innovative translucent solar modules. Based on optical micro-tracking technology, they offer a dynamic light adjustment while maintaining an interesting electrical yield. More than a simple photovoltaic installation, it is a tool for farmers, which allows to adjust the light transmitted to the crops. This makes it possible to optimize the photosynthesis of the plants during the seasons, while converting the excess light into electricity. insolagrin Conthey Research to optimize a unique agrivoltaic […]