Italy’s green two-fer: Home-grown crops and solar power

A project nearing completion on the Italian island of Sardinia will not only produce home-grown crops but also generate up to 20 megawatts of solar energy for the national grid.

The Su Scioffu development on 66 acres of land in the small town of Villasor will feature a greenhouse with roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) modules to generate electricity from the sun. Once in operation, it will provide a green two-fer for Italy, which aims to produce 23 gigawatts of solar energy by 2016.

“This project demonstrates how solar power technology can produce multiple benefits from a single site,” said Lalit Jain, CEO of Moser Baer Clean Energy Limited’s wind and international solar business. “We are doubling the productivity of the land by growing crops and generating electricity.”

The project, co-owned by Moser Baer Clean Energy and GE’s Energy Financial Services unit, is also expected to provide up to 90 new jobs for the region, which has seen its economy suffer since a local sugar factory closed.

Villasor has a population of around 7,000 people.

The greenhouse began producing five megawatts of electricity in August. The remaining 15 megawatts of capacity is expected to go online by the end of October. Once it’s fully operation, the development should generate enough power to meet the needs of around 10,000 Italian homes, at the same time avoiding more than 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.


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