The German energy company Steag is prepared to build three photo-voltage plants with a total power capacity of 244 MW in a number of olive groves in the southern Italian region of Apulia. It is expected that the subsidized solar projects will sell electric power through energy purchase agreements – according to the portal pv magazine International.
Three unsubsidized projects will be located in a radius of 20 kilometers in the Foggia region and will integrate the production of olives and energy in the same field in order to save space and create mutual benefits. The distance between the olive groves rows and the photo-voltage system is specially designed in order to avoid shadowing and enable the passage of automated machinery required for olive production. The main challenge in the development of this kind of project will be the maintenance of maximum efficiency of both production systems, bearing in mind CAPEX and OPEX.
The final approval for the three plants in expected between the third and fourth quarters of this year while the construction should begin in late 2021, Steag is currently also developing what should become the largest Italian solar plant – with a capacity of 700 MW that is planned in Sicily.