Combining solar power with grazing or farming – agrivoltaics

There are many successful examples of how a solar farm can be combined with, for example, grazing to make the most of the land. In Uddevalla, Uddevalla Energi has built a solar park on an area that also serves as a pasture for a group of 20 sheep.

– As a local energy company, it is important that our customers feel that we are at the forefront and doing everything we can in the transition to a fossil-free future. Solar cells are a great complement and an important source of energy to manage the transition. The park produces about 250,000 kWh per year and is an important part of the transition to a sustainable city powered by renewable energy. Just like many of our customers’ solar installations in Uddevalla. Says Therese Blom, communications officer at Uddevalla Energi.

They see many benefits in combining solar power with grazing. Firstly, they get more use out of the area and the sheep grazing means they don’t have to cut the grass in the park. The panels also provide shade for the sheep. They also retain moisture in the soil, making the grass greener and faster growing.

Nor have they had to make any major adjustments to the park to allow for grazing.

– We chose to space the rows of panels further apart than you might normally do. We have a distance of about 16 m so that it should be possible to access agricultural machinery. You could even sow between the rows of solar panels if you wanted to. Wider row spacing is also better for solar production as we get a smaller shadow angle on the panels and they can generate more energy. We have also chosen to have the panels slightly higher up from the ground so that the sheep can fit underneath and graze as far under the panels as possible. It’s best to have about 80-90 cm of clearance to the ground so they fit nicely.

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