Renewable energy company Neoen presented the first handbook on agrisolar in Croatia and announced it would build the county’s first agrivoltaics facility, with a capacity of 10 MW.
Agrisolar or agrivoltaics is slowly getting a foothold in the region of Southeast Europe. The second such project in Serbia was recently announced.
The handbook on agrisolar brings information including what such plants look like, the advantages and opportunities for farmers, and how to use the emerging solution’s huge potential, Neoen said.
The document was prepared with consulting firm Ires Ekologija and professor Milan Mesić from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb. It is intended not only for farmers and landowners but also for spatial planners, ministries and local authorities.
The company has already purchased the land for the installation of the first agrisolar facility in Croatia
Ivan Strunje, business development manager at Neoen, said the land for the first agrisolar project in Croatia has already been purchased in the industrial zone in Dragalić, a municipality in the central part of Croatia. The envisaged capacity is 10 MW.
“The company has a huge international experience in the development of agrisolar and we will be happy to apply it in Croatia as well,” Strunje said and added that Dragalić is only the first in a series in the country.
Agrisolar makes it possible to use up to 90% of the land on which the solar panels are installed
Neoen claimed agrisolar makes it possible to continue cultivating more than 70% of the land, and up to 90% in animal husbandry, depending on the technology and the crops or animals.
An important message from the handbook is that legislation must not set the threshold at above 75% as the profitability of such projects could be endangered, the company said.
According to Neoen, if the framework is not optimal, local authorities and land owners may lose significant income that could otherwise reinvigorate Croatian villages.
Strunje: An opportunity for a green future for two sectors
Since there are still no agrisolar power plants in Croatia, Neoen’s intention was to acquaint the public with the concept and enable a green future for two sectors at the same time – agriculture and the production of renewable electricity, Strunje stressed.
Mario Mesarić, director of Ires Ekologija, said agrisolar reconciles the interests of environmental protection, agriculture and renewables, so he considers it the best possible solution.
Neoen is already developing three projects in Croatia
In 2021, Neoen said it would build the Vlaka photovoltaic facility in Croatia and that it was developing solar projects Dobra Voda (40 MW), and Poličnik (39 MW).
The company has 6.6 GW projects globally in operation or in the pipeline, with plans to increase it to 10 GW by the end of 2025.