“Solar grazing” is launched in Portugal with some 300 sheep
- Grazing on photovoltaic farms benefits agriculture and sustainability
- Strong commitment to circular economy in Portugal
- The entry of another 200 head of sheep is already underway
There are almost 300 sheep using Iberdrola's photovoltaic parks in Portugal as pasture for grazing. A clear example of circular economy, "solar grazing" benefits livestock farmers, who gain new spaces for their activity; it is positive for the solar farm, as it ensures the ecological maintenance of the land and reduces the risk of fires; and it benefits the animals who, in addition to access to food, find protection from the sun, rain and wind in the solar panels.
200 sheep have already been introduced to the Algeruz II photovoltaic plant, located in the district of Setúbal, the first solar infrastructure completed byIberdrola in Portugal, with 28 MW of installed capacity. The Conde PV plant in Palmela, whose construction was completed last year, is used by 70 sheep for grazing. At the same time, Iberdrola is in the process of introducing 200 sheep to the Alcochete I and II farms.
In addition to boosting soil regeneration, ensuring the maintenance of hunting activities and supporting the local economy, "solar grazing" highlights an integrated approach to the development of renewable energy in Portugal, combining electricity production with the practices and needs of the population.
"At Iberdrola we work to ensure that renewable energy generation structures coexist positively with the population, generating local employment and supporting different initiatives aligned with the primary sector, such as the planting of vineyards or the installation of beehives. Our goal is to promote the transition towards a new socio-economic model that is climate neutral, resilient, sustainable and inclusive", says Alejandra Reyna, Country Manager of Iberdrola Renováveis in Portugal.
This new grazing practice has clear positive externalities for the community. In addition to creating local jobs, it promotes other sectors such as livestock farming, providing nutrients to the soil and new seeds, increasing biodiversity in a more natural way.
The maintenance costs of the affected areas are reduced and, in addition, this control of the height of the vegetation helps to prevent fires. A reality that creates a new ecosystem in which everyone wins: the shepherds, Iberdrola and the sheep themselves.