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​Italconsult and Bureau Veritas validated the first Italian Agrivoltaics project

Rome (21 May 2024)

Agrivoltaics takes the fast track

Photovoltaics twinned with agriculture and with reduced impact on the landscape. The gauntlet of agrivoltaics has been picked up by Bureau Veritas Italia, which for the first time validated in Italy the project of an agrivoltaics plant qualified as advanced and which synergistically combines the production of solar energy and the cultivation of olive trees on about 90 hectares of farmland in the territory of Comiso, Sicily, with a peak power of 43 megawatts.


The affidavit issued certifies compliance with all the requirements defined by the Guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security (MASE) to obtain the qualification of advanced agrivoltaics, therefore suitable for maximizing the yield of the land, minimizing the environmental impact and at the same time enhancing agricultural productivity, entrusted in this case to the owners and tenants of the land.


The promoter of the project is the independent power producer (IPP) Peridot Solar, one of the leading operators with an over 3 GWp plant portfolio, of which 100 MWp in operation and other 220 MWp under construction. In this initiative, part of a 1GWp framework agreement, Peridot was flanked by the international engineering company Italconsult Spa, led by Eng. Nino Bevilacqua, one of Italy's leading companies operating both in the civil and energy sectors on major projects, in the design of works and large infrastructures, with more than 2/3 of its orders concentrated abroad.


As far as Bureau Veritas is concerned, the multinational certification, inspection, and testing company brought into play the expertise of its Industry Business Unit and of QCertificazioni, the group's company specialized in the agri-food sector.


According to Paolo Tondi, Sales Manager of the Certification & Industry Division of Bureau Veritas Italia, "In a rapidly evolving scenario, including that arising from the new regulatory front, validation by a third party offers to operators and Evaluation Boards a technically robust anchorage, capable of bringing trust and transparency to the market."

"We assessed," Tondi continues, "that the mix created by the technological and renewable energy skills of Bureau Veritas Industry Team and the agronomic skills of QCertificazioni Team, was the best solution for the need to assess compliance with all the many requirements that an advanced Agri-voltaic plant must guarantee."  Andrea Urzì, Business & Project Development Director of Peridot Solar, states that "The decision to have our project certified by a third and independent party, not due to any legal obligation or linked to any public contribution, stems from the desire to raise the level of design and allow the evaluation commissions of the Authorities to distinguish our professionalism from those who propose initiatives that opportunistically exploit the name agrivoltaics without having behind them a solid development project in harmony with the Institutions, the community and agricultural operators."


According to Antonio Bevilacqua, Managing Director of Italconsult, which at Group level also operates in the energy sector in North America, "The experience carried out in Sicily has been made possible thanks to teamwork with efficient synergy: therefore opens up new scenarios in which the sustainability of the project is not only represented by the methods and techniques used but also and in particular by the multidisciplinary choices and analyses that, together with the respect for the environment, ensure the optimization of all objectives."