US solar company iSun is partnering with Next2Sun, a German agrivoltaics company, to build a vertical agrivoltaic system in South Burlington, Vermont, to help advance the country’s agriculture industry transition to clean, renewable solar energy.
The 50.37 kW project will be built on 3.7 acres and feature 69 vertical rack elements, each with two bifacial solar modules. The rack elements will be installed at a distance of 30 feet to allow the companies to plant vegetables, such as carrots and beetroots, between each of the rows.
“Thanks to the vertical mounting of the modules and the adaptability of the installation to the needs of the farmer, the valuable land is almost completely preserved for agriculture,” said Jeffrey Peck, CEO at iSun.
Because of the vertical solar panel’s adjusted position, the system can absorb more energy than other tilted models – according to the company, Next2Sun’s agrivoltaics system can achieve up to a 15% higher yield when compared to traditional roof-mounted systems.
In addition, the system also has an increased yield rate during the winter months because the vertical surfaces do not need to be cleared during snowy conditions.
“In iSun, we have found a partner who, like us, wants to accelerate the energy transition. With our vertical bifacial agrivoltaics system, we can contribute to this, especially in areas such as the north-east of the USA. The vertical Next2Sun system always produces electricity when conventional P.V. systems are producing less,” said Heiko Hildebrandt, CEO of Next2Sun.
The project is projected to be installed and operational in early 2024.