We are very excited!
Our project “SUNfarming Food & Energy” was selected by an independent jury of experts among the TOP 3 finalists in the category Sustainable Development.
Since its founding in 2008, the GreenTec Awards have become the world’s most important environmental award. Together with more than 120 partners, they offer large and small companies the international stage to present the best projects for environmental protection.
SUNfarming Food & Energy:
Agro-solar greenhouses provide sustainable food, energy, jobs, education
SUNfarming´s unique technology makes it possible to produce economically attractive and resource-efficient food and energy at the same place. The project is providing knowledge transfer in train-the-trainer programmes for students and skills development for people from local communities.
15 agro-solar green-houses have been installed on the campus of the NWU University in South Africa. A team of experts from North-West University and SUNfarming is responsible for the running and training of agro-solar technologies and the research purposes to identify the right crops. The generated solar power is used directly by the university.
Learn more about “SUNfarming Food & Energy”
All finalists can be found online
The first Food & Energy Training Centre in South Africa is a partnership project:
Operating project partner: North-West University Potchefstroom
Co-financing project partner: KFW DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH)
Coordinator of the project: ALENSYS (Alternative Energiesysteme AG)
Thousands of candles can be lit by the light of a candle without their light getting weaker. Joy does not decrease when shared.
(Siddhartha Gautama Buddha)
In this spirit, we wish you and your families a joyous and blessed Christmas time.
Health, happiness and much success for the New Year – combined with our heartfelt thanks for your trust!
With festive greetings
Your SUNfarming Team
Another SUNfarming solar park was successfully completed in November in Roggentin in Mecklenburg Vorpommern. With a total output of 750 kWp, it supplies clean, green electricity for more than 240 households. The CO2 savings of the solar park in Roggentin amount to considerable 443.305 kg / year.
Asked: How much CO2 does a car produce?
Again and again there is talk of the climate killer CO2. The invisible gas is partly responsible for the warming of the climate and transforms our planet into a greenhouse. But although much is discussed, many of us have no feeling for it. How much carbon dioxide – or CO2 for short – does your car produce?
A concrete example: You drive a mid-range car, consumption: 8l / 100km; the tank volume is 55 liters. Since gasoline is lighter than water, this results in about 40 kilograms of gasoline per refueling process. This gas is burned in the engine. In the process, the carbon in the gasoline combines with the oxygen from the air, resulting in CO2.
One kilo of gasoline, which consists essentially of carbon, thus leads to over 3 kilograms of CO2 in the combustion! Thus, there is much more carbon dioxide than the gas weighs. With every tankful of fuel, our car produces about 150 kilos of CO2 (exactly: 144.6 kg) and after just under 9 x full tanks we have produced as much CO2 while driving as our car weighs! With an annual mileage of 12,000 kilometers per year, we blow up twice the weight of our car on average in the air! Even more with super-powered sports cars. Each year.
The CO2 savings of the solar park in Roggentin amount to 443,305 kg / year, as many as 165 cars emit in the example per year.
The greenhouse, covered with a 4 m wide light dome, has a size of 42.5m² (5m x 8.5m). The roof tops, east and west of the light dome, are equipped with SUNfarming modules, the generated solar electricity is used directly by the hotel.
The “SF Urban Farming Concept”, developed by SUNfarming, produces sustainable solar energy and regional food – on the same place. In addition to the solar power, vegetables, fruits, flowers or fish can be gained between the modules of new or already built PV free-field plants or in special agro-solar Food & Energy greenhouses.
Here, from one of the highest points of the Estrel, Peter Griebel, the kitchen director, not only enjoys a magnificent view over Berlin, but here he is now harvesting herbs, cauliflower, chili, chard and physalis, to mention only a few. Regionally and sustainably produced finesse and highlights for the hotel kitchen.
Learn more about the SUNfarming Urban Farming Concept
The metal-working Butting Group provides almost 3 ha of land for the construction of the first KoNaMo-SUNfarming oasis for food & energy in Germany. The parcel is located directly behind the site and is leased for the project. 100% of the generated energy is taken from Butting, also on the weekends!
KoNaMo is based in Berlin, where actors and strategies, technologies and deployment scenarios for sustainable mobility are brought together in Germany. For members and partners, synergies are created that are in harmony with ecological and economic ideals. The integration and qualification of refugees from war zones remains an urgent problem for many municipalities.
The joint investment project KoNaMo-SUNfarming-Oases for Food & Energy aims to give these people a meaningful training in which they acquire quickly and purposefully basic knowledge and qualifications in healthy food production. This acquired knowledge gives people courage and confidence. In addition, the participants have an excellent perspective, should they return to their home countries sooner or later.
The SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Concept of Solar Greenhouses has been successfully applied and tested in Africa. South Africa has the best experience and we want to establish this concept also in Germany.
Learn more about KoNaMo: www.konamo.de
SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Centre is one of their key partners in cooperation with the North-West University in South Africa.
The North-West University (NWU) launched the Leopards Lair competition which received a large number of entries of which 12 finalists could exhibit their ideas to the public and industry partners at NWU Sethi Explosion. NWU student Kumbewe Liwewe, the founder of “Let´s Grow Together” has won the Award for best entrepreneurship/business idea.
The “Let’s Grow Together” initiative was launched by students of the North-West University (NWU) to address the issue of food insecurity on the campus by creating jobs for students in need of financial assistance.
“This is done by providing the campus of the NWU with fresh fruit and vegetables on a weekly basis. From the packing of vegetables, to the transport and delivery of vegetables “Let’s Grow Together” is able to create student jobs in everything we do. This however would not have been possible without the assistance of SUNfarming and the NWU’s Food & Energy Training Centre, who were vital to the conceptualization and initiation of “Let’s Grow Together”, said Kumbewe Liwewe.
The presence of the SUNfarming Food & Energy Training Centre creates a valuable resource for the students of the North-West University as through the presence of high quality food produced on the university campus is used to end food insecurity on the campus. This key partnership we believe will lead to the creation of at least fifty (50) on campus student jobs with the possibility of growth only limited by what is available with the existing Food & Energy infrastructure.
Video-Link: Interview with Kumbewe Liwewe
Another SUNfarming solar park was successfully completed in Mühlenbeck in the Oberhavel region.
“Mühlenbeck” is a solar park of superlatives: on an area of 55,000 m² on the former landfill, 12,048 solar modules of the type SUNfarming SF-AT235-60P with 260 and 265 Wp power were installed. The SUNfarming quality modules and inverters used are all “Made in Germany”. The energy produced in this way of 3,229,800 kWh can supply 1,000 2-person households with clean solar power in the year. In addition, SUNfarming is contributing around 1,937.511 kg of CO2 emissions this year, which corresponds to the output of approximately 750 medium-class cars.
Up to 50 fitters and technicians have carried out a “small miracle” and rammed up to 5000 posts, sometimes up to 1.20 m deep, into the ground, 516 “tables” and the modules were mounted.
SUNfarming invests 3.5 million euros from planning to completion of the plant. The leasing contract for the landfill site is over 20 years with an extension option of 5 years.
„Thanks to the good cooperation of politics, management and the executive companies the solar park could be established in record time“, said Managing Director Martin Tauschke. This excellent teamwork was also necessary, since plants of this size will no longer be possible from 2017, according to lawmakers. The upper limit will then be 0.75 MW. 3 days before Christmas 2016 the building permission was granted.
For the building authority manager Hans-Werner Labitzki the use of the landfill site is a sensible and sustainable after-use, valuable agricultural areas are spared. Furthermore, the safety fence built around the solar system prevents the possibility that wild boars could exploit old rubbish, as happened in the past.
Mayor Fillipo Smaldino-Stattaus is also pleased with the completion of the plant:
“The municipality’s trade tax revenues are rising and the municipality is saving the costs of securing and maintaining the area. Again, a puzzle piece has been found on the way to the green community of Mühlenbecker Land “.
The use of near-natural sheep grazing as a nursing procedure complies with our ecological principles and is highly accepted by the population.
Since 2016 we have been using sheep herds to graze our solar parks in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. A requirement for the functioning of the solar modules is the prevention of shading caused by plant growth. The regular care of the vegetation by sheep grazing prevents shading of the modules.In contrast to mechanical mowing, there is no dust development or damage caused by stone impact. The shepherd’s checks at irregular times also reduce the risk of theft.
The shepherd also benefits from this safe pasture, which is already provided with fencing. The modules are a good shade dispenser and draft shield and the substructures offer retreats for lambing sheep. The surfaces are unloaded since no fertilizers and pesticides are used.
The nature conservation association welcomes the double use of the land, the extensive grazing has positive effects on the biodiversity, through the practiced change of the pasture the sheep serve other animal and plant species as means of transport and thus increase the biodiversity. Due to the good experiences with this environmentally friendly and gentle care of the areas our sheep are now also in Falkensee in Brandenburg -the sheep seem to like it.
For the first time, SUNfarming has applied for an Intersolar Award, the greater the jubilation was to win the Award in the category “Outstanding Solar Projects”.
The jury was impressed by the global development potential as well as the great social benefits, including the creation of new jobs. With the aim of producing food and energy economically, while at the same time resource-saving in one and the same place, 15 agro-solar greenhouses have been built on the campus of North-West University in South Africa. The project shows how photovoltaics are integrated into agro-solar substructures of large food and energy systems. With its professional knowledge the North-West University is an indispensable, operational partner in the Food & Energy project.
The Intersolar Award: Powering the future with innovation!
In the 2017 jubilee year, 133 projects from 21 countries were sent for the coveted Intersolar Award. One of Intersolar’s goals is to promote the industry’s innovative power. For this reason the organizers award the award every year. For 10 years, the world’s largest solar energy company has offered solar companies a unique platform to demonstrate their innovative power and to stand out from the competition.
Peter Schrum, principal shareholder of SUNfarming, thanks his project partners (DEG / KfW and North-West University) and his team with a call: “To multiply Food & Energy also in other countries, we need technically savvy Senior Experts who do not want to retire and want to share their knowledge with others. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. ”
David Morr, SUNfarming Projectmanager International Projects, to the question whether the project is also a matter of heart: “This is the madness! For 5 years we are fighting for our product Food & Energy to carry it out into the world and now to receive an Award is simply top.”
Mr. Senzeni Zokwana, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa, together with a 30-member delegation, visited SUNfarming Food & Energy Project on the Campus of North-West University in Potchefstroom South Africa.
The Minister calls the SUNfarming Food & Energy Project, a joint project of SUNfarming GmbH, North-West University and DEG / KfW on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, as a future-oriented development for agriculture in South Africa.
SUNfarming Food & Energy Project allows to produce food and solar energy at the same time through unique agro-solar greenhouses. Training in food production with water-saving droplet irrigation creates sustainable jobs. The Food & Energy Project is the first of its kind in Africa and the goal of SUNfarming and the NWU is to bring this project to all universities and schools in Africa. SUNfarming and the NWU see themselves as a nucleus to support other universities in research and education with their expertise.
Councillor Kgotso Khumalo Executive Mayor for Tlokwe municipality: “I am excited about the project and the potential it has for our municipality and I want to pledge our full support to this project.”
“The project provides an opportunity to grow affordable and nutritious food in local municipalities. This is an opportunity to effectively address household food and nutrition insecurity. This is innovative technology for agriculture and we want to see this replicated in other parts of the country as it effectively deals with the issue of climate change and the scarcity of water and land”, said Minister Zokwana.
“Agriculture is the answer to many problems. We need a doctor or dentist or lawyer several times a year, but we need a farmer at least three times a day. We need to strive for sustainable methods of agricultural production. What I have seen today is the future of agriculture, I congratulate you on this incredible initiative and innovation,” so Zokwana.