Vattenfall to Build Solar Farm at Almere in Netherlands
Vattenfall has received a permit to build a solar farm in Almere, the Netherlands, where the combination of solar panels and strip farming can be tested. Meeting climate targets requires the deployment of large-scale renewable energy. That takes up our space both on land and at sea. Dutch society has reservations about placing solar panels on land where food can also be produced. In the Symbizon project Vattenfall, together with other parties, is investigating the combination of a solar farm with strip farming in order to obtain new knowledge and insights into the efficient use of land. The project is being carried out with Top Sector Energy funding from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The aim of the so-called Symbizon project is to show that a smart combination of solar panels and strip cultivation maintains the land for food production, improves its ecological properties and at the same time provides a positive business case for Vattenfall and the farmer.
Alternating panels with strips
During the four-year pilot project, a solar tracking algorithm will be developed by innovation organisation TNO that tracks crop and energy yields and the effects of herb strips, weather forecast, energy price and soil conditions and the algorithm will be optimised where possible in cooperation with Vattenfall and Aeres University of Applied Sciences. Also, the effect of the solar tracking system on crop yield, diseases, and ease of use for the farmer is monitored by Aeres Hogeschool, ERF, the largest private organic farm in the Netherlands, and Hemus, a foundation that wants to promote the change to nature-inclusive agriculture. These parties have already gained extensive experience in strip farming.