At Royal Pride in Middenmeer Netherlands, there are more than 70,000 solar panels on a 15-hectare greenhouse. The project generates 31.2 megawatts. The greenhouse complex is equipped with integrated solar panels that provide enough light to grow certain crops underneath. These crops will not be tomatoes and cucumbers, Royal Pride's standard crops. Before making a final decision on what to grow, the growers want to know exactly what the weather conditions will be like in the open greenhouse and how much light will actually get in.
According to GroenLeven, who implemented the agri-PV project, the Royal Pride installation features several unique elements that are a good example of multifunctional use of space. "The semi-transparent panels used not only generate electricity, but also allow light to pass through, which is beneficial for plant growth and agricultural use of the land. In addition, the land under the greenhouse is returned to Royal Pride for its business activities.
There is also a whole system of pipes in the roof. All the rainwater that falls between the pointed roofs is collected by drainage pipes and channelled into an 8,000 cubic metre water basin. All water for the plants.
The project also includes the construction of a corridor of solar panels with closed walls, which Royal Pride can use for storage.
"There is a shortage of electricity in the Netherlands, but there was still space in Royal Pride's area. The company also had land on which to build a greenhouse. This became a special greenhouse that produces electricity that can be used by large consumers in the neighbourhood," says Willem Biesheuvel, project manager at GroenLeven. "It all comes together in a beautiful piece of work, where both the energy and the harvest shine. Agri-PV Royal Pride makes an important contribution to the energy transition and the sustainability of the agricultural sector. The innovative solar farm combines crop production with electricity generation, creating a win-win situation for both the agricultural sector and the energy supply. The project is a great example of how solar energy and agriculture can go hand in hand and contribute to a greener future.