Next2Sun, iSun to build first vertical agrivoltaics system in Vermont

Next2Sun iSun agrivoltaics

U.S. solar company iSun Inc. and German agrivoltaics pioneer Next2Sun Mounting Systems GmbH plan to build an innovative agrivoltaics system in Vermont. The companies have been cooperating since the beginning of 2023 to jointly establish Next2Sun’s vertical agrivoltaics system in the United States. Construction of the first agrivoltaics plant with the Next2Sun system will begin in Vermont in early 2024.

Next2Sun is the inventor and technology leader in vertical bifacial photovoltaics. The basic concept of vertically installed, bifacial solar modules shifts solar power production to times of usually low availability and avoids the overbuilding of agricultural land. The technology allows for fewer conflicts of use, better coverage of electricity demand and lower storage requirements.

Next2Sun has developed a wide range of products based on the vertical bifacial system technology and the patented frame system developed for it, and brought them to market maturity, in particular the vertical bifacial agrivoltaics system and the bifacial solar fence.

With the companies’ first agrivoltaics project being built in Vermont this year, the system will involve 69 vertical rack elements, each with 2 bifacial solar modules, installed at a distance of 30 ft on an area of 3.7 acres. Vegetables such as carrots and beetroot, as well as saffron will be planted between the rows.

“The Next2Sun system is an excellent supplement to our product portfolio,” said iSun CEO Jeffrey Peck. “Thanks to the vertical mounting of the modules and the adaptability of the installation to the needs of the farmer, the valuable land is almost completely preserved for agriculture.”

Next2Sun AG CEO Heiko Hildebrandt is also looking forward to the collaboration.

“In iSun, we have found a partner who, like us, wants to accelerate the energy transition,” Hildebrandt said. “With our vertical bifacial agrivoltaics system, we can make an important contribution to this, especially in areas such as the north-east of the USA. The vertical Next2Sun system always produces electricity when conventional PV systems are producing less.”

This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action as part of the Renewable Energy Solutions Programme of the German Energy Solutions Initiative.

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