The power company Wien Energie has asked German project developer Maxsolar for an 11.5 MW photovoltaic, ground-mounted system on a former gravel dump, with Vienna’s tremendous support for renewables.

As 150 Jura mountain sheep will graze between 25,780 solar panels as ‘wandering lawnmowers’ between April and October each year, the project will have an agrivoltaic portion. The planners are also assessing whether to include arable farming in the project.

“Special measures are taken to give the sheep an optimal grazing area,” Maxsolar said. “The seeds of pasture are sown, the photovoltaic modules are mounted somewhat higher and all electrical components are well protected.”

The modules will provide shelter for the sheep and tractor cultivation of grains and vegetables grown between rows, some of them vertical, east-west-oriented bifacial panels.

The 12.5 ha solar park will be the largest in Vienna and one of the largest in Austria, and Maxsolar said dual use could see 60% more productive use of the facility, which is expected to be commissioned in December.

“One of the main issues of the energy transition is how the extension of ground-mounted PV systems would have the most beneficial impact on the protection of the atmosphere, agriculture and the conservation of biodiversity,” said Thomas Hager, spokesman for Maxsolar.

Power business MD Michael Strebl added: “For years, Wien Energie has been massively supporting solar power expansion.” Our focus is on the town’s roofs, but it alone would not meet the climate goals. We are demonstrating here at Schafflerhofstrasse that ground-mounted systems often work well into the principle of climate control if they are properly built.

Source – here