Agrivoltaics Startup Challenge

Your solution combines photovoltaics and agriculture?

the startup challenge by

Solar photovoltaic generation is one of Iberdrola’s main pillars of growth, resulting in the installation of 874 MW of new solar capacity as a contribution towards achieving nearly 35 GW of renewable installed capacity worldwide. Iberdrola has the largest operating photovoltaic plant in Europe – Núñez de Balboa (Badajoz), with 500 MWp – and is planning an even larger one: Francisco Pizarro with a capacity of 590 MWp.

In some cases, the areas where photovoltaic plants are built coincide with sparsely populated zones where the rural economy is based largely on agriculture and livestock production. As a result of this, Iberdrola is seeking low-cost and environmentally-friendly solutions to combine the roll-out of photovoltaic plants and certain primary sector activities in rural areas in a sustainable way.

Iberdrola’s risk capital vehicle, Perseo, is launching this Challenge to identify competitive and innovative solutions that allow combining solar photovoltaic plants with activities related to agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fish-farming or bee-keeping in such a way that they improve the land use.

Through this new Challenge, the team of specialists from Iberdrola’s Renewables division is seeking innovative solutions that allow primary sector activities and solar photovoltaic facilities to complement each other and create synergies on the same land, enabling Iberdrola to promote the local economy, especially in those regions with demographic challenges posed by progressive depopulation, whilst continuing to fight climate change and support the energy transition.

Iberdrola is looking for solutions in 4 main focus areas. In these four areas, your solution can include:

1) Solutions that contribute towards improving or optimizing the productivity of the land, minimizing the potential penalty for electricity production.

2) Solutions that lead to better water management, temperature optimization, heat and refrigeration supply for facilities and processes, etc.

3) Solutions offering competitive investment costs compared to conventional photovoltaic solutions.

4) Solutions focusing on minimizing the operating and maintenance costs of photovoltaic plants as well as the costs for the complementary land use.

5) Remotely operated solutions and ones that allow for totally autonomous management.

Additionally, your solution must explore the combination of solar photovoltaic generation with one of the following complementary land uses:

Agriculture / Horticulture

 Technological proposals to combine different crops with the production of photovoltaic energy. The challenge is open to all type(s) of crops as long as it is clearly indicated in the proposal for which type of crop the proposed technology is best suited.

Livestock

Technological proposals to combine different livestock-rearing activities with the production of photovoltaic energy. The challenge is open to all types of livestock rearing provided that the proposal clearly indicates for which type(s) of livestock rearing the proposed technology is best suited.

Fish Farming

Technological proposals to integrate the production of photovoltaic energy into fish farming.

Bee-keeping / Pollination

Technological proposals to integrate the production of photovoltaic energy into bee-keeping/pollination.

Winning this Challenge will award you with signing a collaboration agreement for the development of a proof-of-concept. The PoC will be developed in collaboration with the technical specialists from the Iberdrola Renewables area. Additionally, Iberdrola covers the costs and provides you with the necessary technical support, giving access to infrastructures and real data to test the solution.

Pilot Project

Sign a collaboration agreement with Iberdrola. The project costs are covered & you will get full technical support to test your solution.

New Clients

When the pilot project succeeds, Iberdrola will add your solutions to its service territory and relevant companies within the group.

Scaling

When the pilot succeeds, Iberdrola may offer you the opportunity to scale up your solution by means of commercial agreements.

Possible Investment

When you win, PERSO, the Venture Capital arm of Iberdrola, might consider investing in your solution as well.

Timeline

11 May 2021
Applications Open

25 June 2021
Application Deadline

September/October 2021

Winner Announcement

2021/2022

Pilot Project

Apply by 25 June!

Contact Iberdrola
IberdrolaChallenge@iberdrola.es

FAQ

See our responses to some of the most common questions or view our Terms & Conditions.

What is the background of this Challenge?

In line with its commitment to the fight against climate change, the Iberdrola group is backing renewable energy as the way to drive the energy transition and the necessary decarbonization and electrification of the economy. The group plans to invest 150.000 million euros by 2030, raising its renewable capacity to 95 GW by the end of the decade.

Solar photovoltaic generation is one of Iberdrola's main pillars of growth, resulting in the installation in 2020 of 874 MW of new solar capacity as a contribution towards achieving nearly 35 GW of renewable installed capacity worldwide. Iberdrola has the largest operating photovoltaic plant in Europe - Núñez de Balboa (Badajoz), with 500 MWp - and is planning an even larger one: Francisco Pizarro, which will be located in the province of Cáceres and will have a capacity of 590 MWp.

In some cases, the areas where photovoltaic plants are built coincide with sparsely populated zones where the rural economy is based largely on agriculture and livestock production. As a result of this, Iberdrola is seeking low-cost and environmentally-friendly solutions to combine the roll-out of photovoltaic plants and certain primary sector activities in rural areas in a sustainable way.

Why is Iberdrola the right partner for my company?

The Iberdrola Group is no stranger to collaborating with startups. The group actively seeks to generate mutually beneficial partnerships and to facilitate the implementation of the best ideas.

The renewables leader was 20 years ahead of the current energy transition and has now got an unprecedented 75-billion-euro investment plan up until 2025 to maintain its position at the forefront of the energy revolution the world's leading economies are facing, consolidating its business model based on more renewable energies, more grids, more storage and more smart solutions for customers.

Solar photovoltaic generation is one of Iberdrola's main pillars of growth, resulting in the installation of 874 MW of new solar capacity as a contribution towards achieving nearly 35 GW of renewable installed capacity worldwide. Iberdrola has the largest operating photovoltaic plant in Europe - Núñez de Balboa (Badajoz), with 500 MWp - and is planning an even larger one: Francisco Pizarro, which will be located in the province of Cáceres and will have a capacity of 590 MWp.

Working with the renewables leader is the perfect test bed for your solution!

What solutions are you looking for?

Through this Challenge, the team of specialists from Iberdrola's Renewables division is seeking innovative solutions that allow primary sector activities and solar photovoltaic facilities to complement each other and create synergies on the same land, enabling Iberdrola to promote the local economy, especially in those regions with demographic challenges posed by progressive depopulation, whilst continuing to fight climate change and support the energy transition.

Proposals for consideration could include:
• Solutions that contribute towards improving or optimizing the productivity of the land, minimizing the potential penalty for electricity production.
• Solutions that lead to better water management, temperature optimization, heat and refrigeration supply for facilities and processes, etc.
• Solutions offering competitive investment costs compared to conventional photovoltaic solutions.
• Solutions focusing on minimizing the operating and maintenance costs of photovoltaic plants as well as the costs for the complementary land use.
• Remotely operated solutions and ones that allow for totally autonomous management.

The proposals must explore the combination of solar photovoltaic generation with one of the following complementary land uses:

1) Agriculture/Horticulture: Technological proposals to combine different crops with the production of photovoltaic energy. The challenge is open to all types of crop(s) as long as it is clearly indicated in the proposal for which type of crop the proposed technology is best suited.

2) Livestock: Technological proposals are to combine different livestock-rearing activities with the production of photovoltaic energy. The challenge is open to all types of livestock rearing provided that the proposal clearly indicates for which type(s) of livestock rearing the proposed technology is best suited.

3) Fish farming: Technological proposals to integrate the production of photovoltaic energy into fish farming.

4) Bee-keeping or other methods of pollination: Technological proposals to integrate the production of photovoltaic energy into bee-keeping/pollination.

What are the Challenge's key benefits for me?

When you win the Challenge, the main prize will consist of you signing a collaboration and proof of concept agreement with Iberdrola/Perseo.

For the collaboration of the pilot project, Iberdrola will:
• assume the costs of the collaboration and the proof of concept
• provide you with the necessary technical support to test the solution proposed
• give you access to equipment, appliances, infrastructure, high technology sites and joint work areas
• provide you with a real environment and real data to test your solution

Additional benefits include:
• scaling your solution by means of commercial agreements directly or indirectly through another Iberdrola group company
• a possibility for investment in your company through PERSEO
• adding your solution to Iberdrola's service territory if the PoC succeeds

What do I need to know about the Pilot Project?

The winner of the challenge will sign a partnership contract with Iberdrola and be able to test their solution in a real environment.

For the collaboration of the pilot project, Iberdrola will:
• assume the costs of the collaboration and the proof of concept
• provide the necessary technical support to test the solution proposed
• give access to equipment, appliances, infrastructure, high technology sites and joint work areas
• provide a real environment and real data to test the solution

The pilot project will be developed in collaboration with the technical specialists from the Iberdrola.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

You are welcome to submit more than one proposal, just make sure to submit a separate application form for each.

When is the application deadline?

The application period for this challenge ends on 25 June 2021.

How will the applications be evaluated?

The evaluation of your proposal will take into account:

• Investment and operating costs
• The maturity of the proposals and their adaptability to the design of photovoltaic plants
• Simplicity of installation for new and existing facilities
• The diversity of crops that could be planted
• Maximization of electricity generation
• Minimal loss of cultivable land
• The potential positive impact on agricultural or livestock production
• Sustainability of the farming concept, improvements in biodiversity, and carbon capture
• Minimization of the environmental impact
• Water management system to allow for savings
• Degree of computerization of the proposal to optimize its efficiency

The proposals will be analyzed by specialists from Iberdrola's Renewables Business Unit.