Advanced agrivoltaic systems can protect crops from weather events (hail, downpours, extreme heat) while producing electricity thanks to sturdy elevated metal structures. Those selected by Oliva Service, a company from Lecce that commercializes innovative machines for agriculture, present multiple advantages: in addition to letting the light through, they collect and store rainwater to improve the well-being of plants, animals and operators, thus helping businesses grow a wide range of plants and obtain products of a higher quality.
"Those who decide to come to us for an agrivoltaic plant can also count on a vast catalog of innovative machinery for small, medium and large productions useful to process the fruits and vegetables cultivated below semi-transparent photovoltaic panels to achieve a so-called short chain," explains owner Angelo Amato.
"For example, products such as pomegranates, citrus fruit or avocadoes can be more profitable if, in addition to selling the fruit, you set up a short chain and process the produce reusing all parts of the fruits, even the waste, down to the production of seed oil for cosmetic use."
Thanks to Oliva Service machines, the following can be done with pomegranate fruits:
- Extract the arils to vacuum-package them or place them in nitrogen;
- Freeze the arils for controlled-temperature packaging;
- Produce pomegranate juice and treat it to gain an extended shelf-life;
- For second-choice fruits, arils can be dried and sold or used to make flour, jams, infusions and ice-cream;
- Produce seed oil for natural cosmetic products and essential oils from the peel.
With avocados, Oliva Service equipment can be used to:
- obtain extra-virgin olive oil with cold extraction;
- remove the seed and peel the fruits;
- cut the fruits into wedges, chunks or dice them to package them fresh;
- produce avocado juice and treat it for an extended shelf-life;
- obtain jams, infusions and ice-creams;
- slice them, dry them and package them as chips;
- dry the flesh and produce avocado flour.
"With our machines, processing can be adapted to all kinds of fruits and vegetables. This helps increase the profitability of companies and find a balance between the high energy income generated by the agrivoltaic system and the agricultural one, which will probably be required by the future European financing."