Home Posts The Amance agrivoltaic demonstrator site: TSE and Alliance BFC announce very encouraging results
Press release

The Amance agrivoltaic demonstrator site: TSE and Alliance BFC announce very encouraging results

Sylvain raison- canopée agricole d'Amence

TSE, the leading independent solar energy company in France, and Alliance BFC, a union of agricultural cooperatives, have announced very encouraging results from the first soya bean harvest at the Amance agrivoltaic demonstration site.

Developed by TSE, the agricultural canopy is a shading structure equipped with rotating solar panels installed 5m above farmland. The first demonstration structure was completed in Amance, in Haute Saône, in June 2022. The Amance agricultural canopy produces 3.2 GWh per year, equivalent to the consumption of 1350 inhabitants. The Alliance BFC and TSE agronomic teams, together with the farmer, planted soya beans in early June 2022 on a 3 ha plot covered by a shading structure and on a 2 ha control plot to measure the relevance and effectiveness of the agricultural canopy.

Six different varieties of soya beans were planted and harvested on 12 October for this initial trial, with very encouraging results:

  • The teams observed good vegetative growth of the soya beans, with normal physiological flowering, fertilisation and maturation.
  • The six varieties tested, with varying maturation periods, showed various behaviour and yields: up to 25% difference in yields under the canopy and 19% under the control plot. This result confirms the importance of the agronomic research carried out by the Alliance BFC and TSE teams.
  • Despite a very heterogeneous environment and soil, the data obtained, especially for the Soprana variety, showed extremely promising results for future harvests: no significant difference in overall yield and the number of soya pods outside of and under the canopy, higher 1000-seed weight under the canopy.
  • The agricultural canopy provides better protection against heat stress during heat waves: the maximum temperature recorded under the shading structure was 1.2°C lower than on the control plot.
  • The soil under the shading structure is cooler and retains more moisture: on average, readings indicated -3.5°C at a depth of 30 cm in the middle of the shading canopy from June to mid-August.
  • The water potential is higher under the shading canopy: during the flowering stage and at the beginning of grain filling, the soya in the control zone experienced water stress, as opposed to the soya under the shading system.
  • The canopy provides protection in the event of hail: ‘Following a hailstorm after the soya beans had sprouted, I observed damage in the control zone, while the soya planted under the panels was better protected’, noted Sylvain Raison, the farmer.

‘These initial results are very encouraging. We’re entirely confident about the next harvests’, said Fréderic Imbert, R&D director for Alliance BFC.

After the soya harvest, the Amance site was planted with straw cereal. This new experiment is also being conducted by agronomic teams from TSE and Alliance BFC, as well as by INRAE, as part of the France Relance 2030 plan, which will study direct and diffuse PAR radiation under the agricultural canopy.