Deutsche Kreditbank (DKB) Visits SUNfarming Agri-Solar

On May 22nd, 26 advisors from DKB Bank visited the SUNfarming Agri-Solar Training and Research Center in Rathenow.

These bankers, agricultural experts, and technical engineers are specialists from Germany’s largest bank for renewable energy financing. Due to new legislation, particularly the Solar Package 1, they showed great interest in Agri-Solar.

Edith Brasche, Managing Director for SUNfarming Project Development, and Peter Schrum, founder and main shareholder of the SUNfarming Group, presented the innovations and research facility in Rathenow. They explained the unique features of Agri-Solar with glass-glass modules and SUNfarming's rainwater distribution techniques.

Since farmers are supplied directly by SUNfarming for the construction of privileged 2.5-hectare APV systems, this business field becomes an attractive financing area for DKB Bank with EEG security.


SUNfarming Africa Wins Two Prestigious Awards!

SUNfarming Africa, part of the SUNfarming Group, won two renowned awards at the Solar Week Mauritius 2024.

The 200 kWp Agrisolar Training Centre in Gros Cailloux, Mauritius, was recognized in the following categories:
1. Best Solar Project of the Year: Agrivoltaics
2. Outstanding Service Innovation in Solar: EPC

The awards were presented by Mr Beemadoo, CEO of the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA), to SUNfarming Africa Project Manager, Chetan Jankee (pictured right) & SUNfarming Africa Agronomist, Jeevesh Sewdee (pictured left).

Project Overview

The Agrisolar Research and Training Centre was commissioned in July 2023 under the National Scheme for Emerging/Innovative Renewable Energy Technologies (NSEIRET). This program, initiated by the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency in collaboration with the Central Electricity Board (CEB), the Economic Development Board (EDB), and the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC), promotes innovations in renewable energy sources.

Significance and future prospects

The plant serves as a research and training platform in cooperation with local partners. During the installation phase, 60 students from the University of Mauritius and the Université des Mascareignes were trained.

SUNfarming's agrivoltaic system in Mauritius is an innovative solution that integrates energy production with food production and promotes local capacities and economic development. It supports local self-sufficiency and optimises land use by simultaneously enabling large-scale solar projects.


SUNfarming secures project financing for 40 MWp solar PV in Poland

SUNfarming, a leading German IPP, has successfully completed a PLN 118 million project financing from PKO Bank Polski to refinance a 40 MWp solar project in Poland.

The "Nova" portfolio comprises 43 solar projects with an average size of 1 MWp, which are scheduled for completion by the end of the year. These projects benefit from a long-term CfD acquired from URE at the 2020 solar auction.

Martin Tauschke, Managing Director of SUNfarming Group, said: "This milestone is an essential part of our growth strategy in the Polish market."

PKO Bank Polski emphasised its role in financing the green transformation in Poland. Marcin Majewski, Head of Corporate Clients and Corporate Relations, explained: "Our role as a leader in the banking sector is to financially support the energy transition."

Capcora supported SUNfarming in securing the loan package and adding another strategic partner. PKO Bank Polski was advised by Norton Rose Fulbright and UL, SUNfarming by Rödl & Partner, Bird & Bird and Capcora.


SUNfarming implements largest agri-solar plant with training center in South Africa

n a pioneering initiative and co-financed by DEG/KfW, the German company SUNfarming has started the construction of the largest agri-solar plant in South Africa. This plant will not only produce clean energy on an area of 30,000 m² but will also contribute to food production for the rural population in the region from Potchefstroom to Pretoria.

The innovative concept of the system allows a unique dual use of the area. While the photovoltaic modules convert solar energy into electricity, the same area is used for agriculture, which is protected from extreme weather conditions by the system. This symbiosis creates numerous benefits for the local population.

The infrastructure of the project is already at an advanced stage. The Agri-PV tables have been erected, the semi-transparent SF PV modules are installed and the well for the water supply has been prepared. The structural work for the fully equipped training facilities has already been started. The water-saving irrigation system and the shading nets will be installed shortly after the local winter.

A core element of SUNfarming is the multiple use of land and resources. The agri-solar system not only provides a sustainable source of energy, but also protects the environment and supports local agriculture. Rainwater is used efficiently, which is particularly important in arid regions.

This pioneering project demonstrates how innovative technologies and sustainable practices can bring positive change to rural communities. SUNfarming and its partners are committed to a future where energy production and agriculture go hand in hand to meet the needs of people and the environment.

This Agri-PV training project, co-financed by DEG/KfW, will continue to be operated by the non-profit organization FEED LTD South Africa and FEED e.V. Germany after the end of the project period.


Federal President Steinmeier visits the largest German Agri-Solar project

Federal President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, accompanied by Dr. Dietmar Woidke, Minister President of Brandenburg, visited the largest German Agri-Solar project in May as part of his series "Workshop of Change" in Steinhöfel, Brandenburg.

SUNfarming Group's Managing Director Martin Tauschke and Project Developer Heiner Kamper presented the project. The SUNfarming Group combines agriculture and solar power production in this innovative project to promote efficient use of agricultural land and increase energy generation from renewable sources.
The presentation of SUNfarming's agricultural concept generated great interest among the politicians. The project enables the keeping of mother cows, sheep, and chickens, as well as the cultivation of various vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbs under the solar modules. SUNfarming will conduct intensive research projects in cooperation with the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) e.V. from Müncheberg to determine the optimal uses for Agri-Solar systems.

Dr. Dietmar Woidke emphasized the importance of Agri-Solar projects for preserving agricultural land and increasing societal acceptance for such innovations.

The government particularly supports the dual use of land for agricultural production combined with solar energy generation. Agri-Solar simultaneously secures food and energy supply for the population.


SUNCYbernetics solar training for Afrika

In 2024, our subsidiary in South Africa continues its successful training and hands-on workshops. Not only in South Africa, but also in other African countries, our expertise is in demand.

Nicolaas Faure van Schalkwyk, Lead Trainer and Energy Research Engineer, presents the highlights of the activities in March and April in his monthly report.

Key highlights activities for March 2024:
1. Bloemfontein PV Green Card training (4-8 March 2024).
2. Co-hosted Regional Distributed Generation Training with SEA Team (6-8 March 2024).
3. Compiled, submitted and been awarded the Regional Distributed Generation Training project for the next two years.
4. Presented at Jhb Solar & Storage Future show.
5. Finalised SEA training report.
6. Hosted online webinar with SEGEN solar on key changes of the NRS 097-2-1 (almost 100 people attended).
7. Initiated Mediclinic Site visit (Almost 20 sites to be visited and reported on by end of April).
8. Assisted with AC and MV design and procurement for Harpington farm. (Ongoing)
9. Attended workshop on national solar PV standard. (Ongoing)
10. Multiple workshops to resolve sign off requirements for solar PV in South Africa. (Ongoing)

Key activities for April 2024:

1. Conclude all solar PV inspections for Mediclinic and compile and review reports by end of April.
1. Been awarded 4 x Solar PV inspections at Limpopo Schools, to be concluded within a week.
2. Preparation and hosting of Municipal SEA Training in Pretoria.
3. SEA Bi-annual Progress Report
4. Preparation for Regional DG
5. Finalising and applying for SAPVIA PV Green Card training & Accreditation in Bloemfontein (Need to do the same for Potch, Jhb and George)