Solar panels to keep cows fresh?

Iberdrola awarded four agro voltaic innovation projects in France

Solar farms can keep cows healthy and happy!

Iberdrola has been awarded four agro voltaic projects with a total capacity of 12MW in the latest renewable energy innovation tender launched by the French Ministry for the Energy Transition.

As a prerequisite, the projects needed to focus on innovation, caring for the environment and improving agriculture and livestock farming.

The four photovoltaic (PV) projects submitted by Iberdrola won their bid and obtained the maximum capacity of 3 MW.

The first of these, called Kirch, is aimed at improving animal welfare and the pastures used to feed the cattle where the panels are located, in order to increase the quality of dairy products from organic farming.

Climate change causes heat stress in both cattle and pastures, which affects milk production and quality.

To combat this problem, the solar structures of the Kirch project are placed at a minimum height of 1.5 metres, allowing cows to find shelter under the photovoltaic panels.

In addition, each panel is equipped with an intelligent system that allows rainwater to be collected during the winter period, stored in a tank and filtered and then used in the hot season to irrigate the pasture and moisten the cows to relieve them from the high temperatures.

Iberdrola’s prototype also predicts the onset of heat stress by data from the farm’s weather station and health parameters captured through smart collars placed around the cows’ necks.

Thus, in case of extreme temperatures, sensors placed under the panels detect the presence of the cows and automatically activate the foggers.

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