News and Success Stories

Published 09 February 2023

Seizing Sun And Shade With Solar Power

German farmer Fabian Kathaus shares insight of growing berries beneath solar power systems. The solar farms produce enough electricity for 160 households. Meanwhile, their shade saves water and protects plants from hotter summers.

Mixed-use farming has long been a feature of New Zealand farm systems, with sheep and beef, or forestry, combined with other livestock production. As New Zealand moves to decarbonise, we need to locate smaller scale generation closer to the users of that power.

Regional NZ may have to rely on solar and wind to fulfil this need, as there are a number of process heat users trying to move off coal and onto other forms of heat. How might we incorporate power production into our farming systems, either for farm use or in food processing facilities in rural/regional areas?