Press Release

Groundbreaking Ceremony in Austria Launches Agri Photovoltaics Test Site

10. May 2022

Neusling, Germany, May 10, 2022 – IDEEMATEC and EWS Consulting cooperation sees commencement of a 5.5 hectare research facility, Sonnenfeld Bruck an der Leitha, in Austria. A groundbreaking ceremony took place this week to mark the commencement of this state-of-the-art Agri PV research facility, with commissioning due to be completed in September.

The site is divided into eight research zones, each with their own unique configuration in terms of row spacing, module type and orientation. Over the next 3 years, research will be carried out with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences into which plant cultures and forms of cultivation are best suited to arable land and grassland with simultaneous PV power generation. Both electricity and agricultural yields will be investigated to determine the best way to optimize the double use of land for a sustainable approach to agriculture.

The Ideematec Horizon L:TEC® tracker forms the basis of the Agri PV solution, with adjustments made to cater for the requirements of the land and for the type of agriculture. The two-in-portrait system is proven in the field, and was the starting point for this Agri PV project. The tracker has been adjusted to allow rotation of up to 70°, which allows access for large agricultural machine. The tracking system offers the possibility of adjusting the module tables accordingly, so that management between the rows of modules is possible.

Farmers can use a smartphone app to switch the modules to what is known as “grassland” harvesting mode. In this mode, the modules stand horizontally. Damage to the modules, e.g. from falling rocks, is therefore minimized. Crucial to this concept is the optimal and flexible choice of row spacing between the rows of modular tables in order to provide sufficient space for agricultural machinery. These distances can be adjusted to management needs as early as the planning stage. The "arable farming" harvesting mode, where the module tables are opened up to 70° to each other, enables the greatest possible passage light, adapted to a wide variety of harvesting machines.

Ideematec and EWS teams have been working intensively on the design. Both partners have used many years of experience from their respective specialist areas in this process. This lays a strong foundation for a long-term partnership, based on mutual trust and appreciation, for the implementation of many EWS Sonnenfelder® in Austria. In parallel with the implementation of the first reference system in Bruck an der Leitha, the first commercial projects are already being planned and prepared for implementation. The potential for Agri PV systems and the interest of the regions and communities are enormous.

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About Ideematec 

Ideematec provides proven tracker innovation and customer-centric solutions that offer the best lifetime value – in all environments. Established in 2003 and headquartered in Germany, Ideematec has industry experience in 25 countries across six continents. Experiencing rapid expansion, the company has shipped over 3.5GW of trackers worldwide and has seen a year-on-year market share increase of 62%. Their mission is to build the lightest and most sustainable trackers in the world, using their reliable decoupled drive and a zero stow strategy.

Ideematec has a weekly production capacity of 70MW, with its flexible tracker design offering easy installation, reliable operation, and high yields – ideally suited to the utility-scale sector. Ideematec pioneered the 2P high-span safeTrack Horizon™ H4 tracker, powered by patented decoupled drive technology. It’s successor, the L:TEC Horizon® tracker builds on this industry-leading innovation with patented tube technology that stabilizes the system by locking the trackers into place at each position, and is available in both 1P and 2P versions.

Since 2017, the company has successfully supplied some of the largest solar farms in the world, including Australia (349 MW), Jordan (250 MW) and Spain (200 MW), and has delivered trackers for the largest 2P solar project in Qatar (800MW).

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About EWS Consulting GmbH

EWS has been planning and implementing renewable energy projects and projects for more energy efficiency for their customers for over 28 years. This results in an investment volume of more than €3 billion and corresponds to 7% of Austrian electricity consumption. Their know-how is in more than half of all wind turbines that rotate in Austria. The EWS team consists of around 50 experts and implements projects in full, from the idea and implementation to operation.