Abigail Klein Leichman

Can wine grapes and renewable energy be produced together on the same plot of land?

That’s the question Agri-Light Energy Systems of Jerusalem is striving to answer by testing its patented agrivoltaic solution on top of eight types of wine grapes growing in the Negev desert of southern Israel.

Agrivoltaics is a method that aims to feed the world’s growing population and provide clean solar energy, all at one location.

Growing crops under solar panels ideally can increase land-use efficiency, reduce irrigation water needs, protect crops from over-exposure to sun radiation, lessen impact of precipitation and wind, improve power generation in semiarid places, and give farmers an additional source of income.

However, success depends on many variables including geography, climate and crop variety, as not all produce thrives under solar panels.

A report in PV magazine explains that Agri-Light’s patented technology uses distributed sensors and two-axis sun tracking to balance sunlight and shade for the crops without compromising electricity production.

One axis positions the solar panels horizontally above the crops, and the other changes the panels’ angle to catch rays optimally.

CEO Udi Wild told PV that initial data on how well the system performs with each grape variety will be collected after the August harvest.

Agri-Light was established in 2020 by entrepreneurs in the fields of IoT, analytics, sustainability, agronomy and solar energy. Several commercial projects in Israel and Spain are planned for next year, while additional pilot projects reportedly are being negotiated on three continents.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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