New agri-photovoltaic plant in the Rhenish mining area
JARA-ENERGY scientist contributes expertise
Solar power and agriculture in one field – RWE and Forschungszentrum Jülich want to demonstrate how this can work in a demonstration plant in the Rhenish mining district. On September 6, 2023, RWE officially launched the project in the presence of Frank Rock, Rhine-Erft County Commissioner, Sascha Solbach, Mayor of the City of Bedburg, and Prof Ulrich Schurr (JARA-ENERGY), Director of the Institute for Plant Sciences at Forschungszentrum Jülich.
RWE started construction of the agrivoltaics (Agri-PV) plant for generating solar power while simultaneously using the land for agricultural and horticultural purposes on about seven hectares of recultivated land at the edge of the Garzweiler opencast lignite mine. The research project is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia through the progres.nrw programme for climate protection and the energy transition. The demonstration plant will have a peak capacity of 3.2 megawatts (the equivalent of around 2.5 MWac) and is to be commissioned by the end of this year. At the start of 2024, research activities lasting at least five years are to begin.
The project is aimed at testing suitable cultivation methods and value-adding strategies for operators of Agri-PV plants. Forschungszentrum Jülich contributes its scientific expertise in combining plant research and photovoltaics – including within the context of the bioeconomy. In addition to recultivated land, RWE has long-standing connections with regional farmers and is providing the extensive technical expertise it has gained from the development, construction and operation of solar plants worldwide.
Please find the entire press release on the website of Forschungszentrum Jülich: https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/news/archive/press-release/2023/julicher-expertise-fur-neue-agri-photovoltaikanlage-im-rheinischen-revier