The Solar Training Centre develops programs for all of Africa

The Solar-Training Centre of SUNCybernetics, in collaboration with the NGO Sustainable Energy Africa, hosted a training program focused on South African utilities for both local and international utilities and regulatory authorities.

The first two trainings took place at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and further sessions were held at the CSIR in Pretoria, with 50 participants each. The attendees were local government officials from various utilities (municipalities) across South Africa. The training covered aspects such as distributed generation (DG), its benefits for the country like job creation, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, dealing with power outages (load shedding), how DG can impact the national grid, and how to process and approve DG in their network in a sustainable way. It also covered concepts like setting up export tariffs and installing the correct bidirectional meter to compensate consumers who want to feed their green solar energy into the grid.

According to GIZ, a key training funder, this training and capacity building programme is one of their best and most impactful programmes in Africa. The impact SUNCybernetics and Sustainable Energy Africa was making in South Africa, was so profound and effective, that Germany based GET.transform, supported by GIZ, wanted to roll out the same training and capacity building model out to other African Countries. The first cohort of 6 countries included Namibia, Uganda, Madagascar, Mozambique Lesotho and Eswatini. There is a potential for this programme to roll out soon to 10 African Countries in total.

The training for the African Countries, focused more on developing a draft template regulation for distributed generation as well as utility requirements for DG to connect to their respective grids. The training was quite challenging, as the existing grid codes, regulations, stakeholders, approaches and even their languages were different. Translation services had to be used for the first time to effectively communicate and convey the same message. The training was still well received and the hope is that other African Countries will be able to capitalise on their new knowledge and capabilities to open the market for DG in a sustainable way.

Feedback from International DG Training

“I commend you for the support given to the various countries; while addressing the real issues and following up (each training session is a build up to the next step) The continuous efforts to get feedback and needs of each country tailor made, ensure relevance of all content The daily recap of principles in a fun interactive way is invaluable for the participants” –


SUNfarming at the Southwest Grid Development Forum in Oelixdorf

On June 18, 2024, SUNfarming participated in the Southwest Grid Development Forum in Oelixdorf. Representing SUNfarming were Stephan Franke, Project Developer, René Weigel, Head of Technology, and Pierre Sperling, Head of Grid Connection Planning.

The forum brought together a variety of companies connected with Schleswig-Holstein Netz AG (SH-Netz) – from pure feeders to battery project developers to municipal representatives. However, the majority of attendees were feeders. The main goal of the forum was to facilitate mutual acquaintance, understand the current situation of SH-Netz, and work together on solutions. Additionally, SH-Netz's plans and roadmap for the coming years and decades were presented, including the future grid development in Schleswig-Holstein.

Some of the exciting information shared during the forum included SH-Netz's ambitious goals for 2024. SH-Netz plans to connect an additional 2000 MW. The three essential components of their target grid are:

1. Grid Coupling Points: Over 20 new 380/110 kV substations with a capacity of around 1 GW
2. 110 kV Overhead Lines: 950 km of new 110 kV overhead lines
3. 110 kV Substations: 100 new 110/20 kV substations

However, grid expansion also brings significant challenges, including long approval times of 2-4 years, skilled labor shortages, material delivery times of over 3 years, and land acquisition times of 1-3 years. Additionally, the planning basis is complex due to unpredictable feeder requests and load fluctuations. In addition to grid expansion, SH-Netz is significantly increasing the number of annual connections. Currently, 104,700 installations are connected to the grid, and a yearly increase of over 50,000 installations is forecasted for 2024-2026.

SUNfarming looks forward to working together with SH-Netz and other partners to successfully implement these ambitious plans and further advance the energy transition in Schleswig-Holstein.


Intersolar Munich 2024 – SUNfarming’s Agri-Photovoltaics – Multifunctional Land Use Impresses

Intersolar Munich 2024 was exceptionally well attended again this year, with SUNfarming's stand being one of the main attractions.

In addition to the topics of battery storage and holistic energy solutions combined with agri-photovoltaics, visitors were particularly interested in the agricultural concepts under agri-photovoltaics as well as floating PV solutions. Besides visitors from Germany, there were also guests from Switzerland, France, Croatia, Kosovo, India, and the Middle East interested in SUNfarming solutions.

The dual use of land for the welfare-friendly keeping of cattle and other animals, as well as the protection of agricultural crops against adverse weather conditions and drought, and the protection of special crops such as fruits and wine against excessive sunlight, hail, frost, etc., continue to be important topics for the expansion of renewable energies on agricultural land, especially in light of the extreme weather events of recent weeks.

The combination of agri-photovoltaic parks with battery storage solutions offers investors and land lessors to SUNfarming an additional opportunity to generate revenues from green power production alongside agriculture and energy trading with battery storage. SUNfarming has land and grid connection points as well as its own substations where battery storage could be placed.

"Agri-photovoltaics is much more than generating green energy in combination with agriculture," explains Edith Brasche, Managing Director of Project Development at SUNfarming. "Combined with biogas plants, Agri-PV provides green electricity, which can also be stored as heat and used for municipal heating concepts, as well as an additional energy source for the production of biomethane," says Edith Brasche.

SUNfarming will also be present with a booth at EUROTIER in Hanover in November 2024, as animal welfare facilities for cattle as well as horses, sheep, and fallow deer are a focus of SUNfarming's agricultural concepts.


BDEW Congress: “Simply Doing It Together”

Edith Brasche, SUNfarming's Managing Director of Project Development, participated in a panel discussion.

A big compliment to the BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries) Congress 2024 team for a top organised industry event. Under the charming moderation of Asma Rharmaoui-Claquin, we explored the challenges of agrivoltaics and special solar systems like floating PV and moorland PV.

For over 15 years, SUNfarming has been a pioneer in the development and investment in agri-PV and biodiversity PV systems. We "simply do it together" with farmers, municipalities, and citizens to protect agricultural yields from climate change, achieve CO2 neutrality for gravel works with SUNfarming's floating PV, and generate multiple benefits for land areas through renewable energy. Why should this sustainable development be hindered by over-bureaucratization, risking Germany's competitiveness?
As a medium-sized family business, we offer technological expertise, entrepreneurship, and a willingness to invest in Germany. We call for deregulation, openness to technology, and freedom for sustainable entrepreneurship. Germany has the power – let’s do it!


SUNfarming Agri-Solar for Poland

Martin Tauschke, Managing Director of the SUNfarming Group, speaks to an interested audience at one of the largest PV congresses of the Polish Photovoltaic Association about the future-oriented topics of Agri-Solar and Floating Solar.

SUNfarming, represented by Martin Tauschke, Piotr Budzyniak, and Anna Pilarczyk-Naprawski, participated in the 5th edition of the PV Congress, which took place on May 27-28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Warsaw, organized by the Polish Photovoltaic Association. This is one of the largest congresses in the photovoltaic industry in Poland, addressing key PV sector topics and gathering top experts, government representatives, and leading companies in solar energy. The two-day event attracted over a thousand participants.

On the second day of the conference, Martin Tauschke had the honor of speaking as a panelist in the discussion panel “Floating and Agri-PV. The Rescue for Agriculture?”. As a pioneer of the German Agri-PV market, he presented the technological advancements of Agri-PV solutions used by SUNfarming in Germany, highlighting the benefits of dual usage concepts advantageous for both agriculture and the energy system. Additionally, he addressed the obstacles in spreading Agri-PV technology in Poland. During the panel, a discussion with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture also took place, focusing on the complexity of regulatory and administrative processes. Martin Tauschke called for joint cooperation and the development of legal and political frameworks that would allow the growth of this still-nascent sector in Poland, proposing the exchange of experiences and ready-made solutions that have proven successful in the advanced Western European Agri-PV market.

During the congress, SUNfarming Polska was also officially accepted as a member of the Polish Photovoltaic Association, where it intends to primarily engage in the development of Agri-PV in Poland.


SUNfarming to Focus on Agri-PV at Intersolar, June 19 – 21, 2024

SUNfarming will showcase its long-developed Agri-PV concepts for animal husbandry and special crops at Intersolar 2024, the world’s leading trade fair for the solar industry. Visit us in Hall C4, Booth 230, to learn more about our latest projects and Agri-PV concepts as well as our Food & Energy initiatives worldwide.

For visitors to our booth: You are warmly invited to contact Ms. Janine Breitenfeld to schedule an appointment:

Based in Erkner near Berlin, SUNfarming is a family-owned, medium-sized enterprise in the solar energy sector, specializing in the development, construction, and operation of photovoltaic systems. The company also invests in the production of renewable energy for climate protection and energy security. In addition to rooftop PV, landfill and conversion site PV systems, and floating PV installations, SUNfarming focuses particularly on the development, construction, and operation of Agri-Photovoltaic systems for animal husbandry as well as fruit and vegetable cultivation in Germany and internationally. With innovative dual-use concepts tailored to agriculture, horticulture, and viticulture, SUNfarming is driving the energy transition sustainably forward. SUNfarming's in-house engineers develop innovative PV solutions, having already realized more than 700 MW of installed capacity and holding more than 230 MW of plant capacity in its own portfolio. SUNfarming has received numerous awards for its Food & Energy Training concepts in various developing countries.