Renewables Leader Iberdrola Wants to Collaborate with Your Agrivoltaics Business

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Iberdrola is looking to collaborate with your innovative Agrivoltaics business! Collaborate to scale your solutions globally and across Iberdrola’s extensive electricity networks. Read more about the challenge & apply for this exciting opportunity by 25 June 2021!

In line with its commitment to the fight against climate change, the Iberdrola group is backing renewable energy as the way to drive the energy transition and the necessary decarbonization and electrification of the economy. The group plans to invest 150.000 million euros by 2030, raising its renewable capacity to 95 GW by the end of the decade.

Iberdrola’s international program for startups – PERSEO, facilitates Iberdrola’s access to the technologies of the future. Moreover, it promotes the creation and development of a global and dynamic ecosystem of technology companies and entrepreneurs in the electricity sector. To do this, 110 million euros have been allocated to the initiative through Perseo in order to support businesses working in new areas of electrification and in difficult-to-decarbonize sectors.

The Agrivoltaics Opportunity

Solar photovoltaic generation is one of Iberdrola’s main pillars of growth, resulting in the installation of 874 MW of new solar capacity in 2020, contributing towards achieving nearly 35 GW of renewable capacity worldwide. Iberdrola also built the largest operating photovoltaic plant in Europe in Núñez de Balboa (Badajoz), Spain, with 500 MWp. Currently, the renewables leader is planning an even larger one, Francisco Pizarro, which will be located in the province of Cáceres, Spain, and will have a capacity of 590 MWp.

In some cases, the areas where photovoltaic plants are built coincide with sparsely populated zones where the rural economy is based largely on agriculture and livestock production. As a result of this, Iberdrola is seeking low-cost and environmentally friendly solutions to combine the roll-out of photovoltaic plants and certain primary sector activities in rural areas in a sustainable way.

This time, the Iberdrola International Startup Challenge seeks competitive and innovative solutions that combine solar photovoltaic plants with activities related to agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fish-farming, or beekeeping in such a way that they improve the productivity of land use.

Seeking Agrivoltaics Solutions for Agriculture, Horticulture, Livestock, Fish-Farming or Bee-keeping

Iberdrola’s Renewables division is seeking innovative solutions that allow primary sector activities and solar photovoltaic facilities to complement each other. This enables Iberdrola to create synergies on the same land, helping promote the local economy, especially in those regions with demographic challenges posed by progressive depopulation. At the same time, implementing such synergies enables Iberdrola’s continuing fight against climate change and boosts energy transition.

Applications for the Agrivoltaics Challenge can include a range of solutions spanning:

  • Solutions that contribute towards improving or optimizing the productivity of the land and minimizing the potential penalty for electricity production.
  • Solutions that lead to better water management, temperature optimization, heat, and refrigeration supply for facilities or processes.
  • Solutions offering competitive investment costs compared to conventional photovoltaic (PV) solutions.
  • Solutions focusing on minimizing the operating and maintenance costs of PV plants, as well as the costs for the complementary land use.
  • Solutions that enable remote operations and fully autonomous management.

Further, your proposals must explore the combination of solar photovoltaic generation with one of the following complimentary land uses:

  1. Agriculture/Horticulture: Technological proposals to combine different crops with the production of photovoltaic energy. The challenge is open to all types of crops, as long as it is clearly indicated in the proposal for which type of crop the proposed technology is best suited.
  2. Livestock: Technological proposals to combine different livestock-rearing activities with the production of photovoltaic energy. The challenge is open to all types of livestock rearing, provided that the proposal clearly indicates for which type(s) of livestock rearing the technology is best suited.
  3. Fish Farming: Technological proposals to integrate the production of photovoltaic energy into fish farming.
  4. Bee-keeping or other methods of pollination.

The Prize – What’s in it for you?

All proposals will be analyzed by specialists from Iberdrola’s Renewables Business Unit. The prize will consist of the Challenge winner signing a collaboration and proof of concept (PoC) agreement with PERSEO and/or other relevant group companies of Iberdrola.

Furthermore, Iberdrola will:

  • Assume the costs of the collaboration and the PoC
  • Give you the necessary technical support to test your solution by providing access to equipment, appliances, infrastructure, high technology sites, and joint work areas
  • Provide you with a real environment and real data to test your solution

Further, Iberdrola may offer you the opportunity to scale up your agrivoltaics solution into other Iberdrola networks by means of commercial agreements if the PoC is successful.

In addition, Perseo may consider investing in the winning solution.

The Evaluation Process

The evaluation of your proposal will take into account:

  • Investment and operating costs
  • The maturity of the proposals and adaptability to the design of PV plants
  • The simplicity of installation for new and existing facilities
  • The diversity of crops that could be planted
  • Maximization of electricity generation
  • Minimal loss of cultivable land and impact on the environment
  • The potential positive impact on agricultural or livestock production
  • Sustainability of the concept: improvements in biodiversity and carbon capture
  • Water management system to allow for savings
  • Degree of computerization of the proposal to optimize its efficiency

All proposals must be submitted by 25 June 2021 via the Challenge website.

Sounds like a Challenge you want to take on?

Apply today for Iberdrola’s Agrivoltaics Challenge and join the transition towards sustainable energy production and management.




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