Double food production with Sweden's largest agrivoltaic park  – combines agriculture with solar energy production for indoor cultivation.

Double food production with Sweden's largest agrivoltaic park    – combines agriculture with solar energy production for indoor cultivation.

Europe's largest indoor cultivation, Ljusgårda, has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the balance responsible party Energi Försäljning Sverige AB and Sweden's leading solar energy company Svea Solar. The solar park that Svea Solar has built together with Ekoväx is Sweden's largest agrivoltaic park of 13 hectares and combines classic agriculture with solar energy production. It is now clear that Ljusgårda will buy the electricity from the solar park, a production that is expected to be up to 8 GWh per year, which more than covers Ljusgårda's energy needs to produce an annual volume of 520 tonnes of lettuce. At the same time, the land under the panels continues to be cultivated by Ekoväx to produce rapeseed, ley and wheat.

– This is a good example of a new approach to creating synergies between conventional cultivation methods and new techniques such as vertical farming, enabling the production of both staple crops and leafy vegetables at the same time. This type of solar park offers new innovative approaches to ensure energy supply for Ljusgårda. Every hectare will contribute to the transition to a more sustainable food system, says Michael Martin, researcher at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute who is an expert on urban farming methods.

Svea Solar owns and operates the new solar park in Hova, Gullspång municipality, which is only a few miles from Tibro where Ljusgårda has its farm. The solar park covers 13 hectares, the size of 19 football fields, and uses a so-called "single-axis tracker" system, which means that the solar panels follow the sun and can be rotated to enable continued farming.

– This is Sweden's most innovative solar park, the first large-scale agrivoltaic park with completely new technology. It feels great that this power purchase agreement is with Ljusgårda with their innovative and sustainable vegetable production. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight our partners Our New Energy and Energi Försäljning Sverige AB, who have been important pieces of the puzzle for the implementation of the project, says Pontus Skog, Head of Utility Development at Svea Solar.

The park is expected to produce 8 GWh per year, enough to supply 1600 villas. The project is being followed by researchers at Mälardalen University's Agrivoltaic Project and the Solar Research Centre Sweden, SOLVE, at Uppsala University. The park is expected to be completed in August 2024 and the first harvest of the arable land is planned for 2025.

– Companies that demand additional energy make a real difference. Through this PPA, we can accelerate the green transition together and increase the amount of renewable energy in the grid.  We are proud that as a balance responsible partyactor with insight and expertise in the energy market, we can guarantee a smooth and efficient risk management and billing process for both end consumers and producers, says Tobias Jansson, Energy Risk Adviser at Energi Försäljning Sverige AB.