Italy: Good results in photovoltaic greenhouses in Puglia

Integrating agriculture with the production of electricity from renewable sources is a challenge in Puglia, but it is not impossible. As photovoltaic panels reduce solar radiations and modify the microclimate, it is essential to choose the right species and varieties to cultivate as well as the right growing techniques.

A perfect example of this combination is Società agricola M&T Green Power, a producer located in Sannicandro di Bari which in 2010, in compliance with regional regulations, built a 14,000 square metre photovoltaic greenhouse with a galvanised iron structure and a glass covering partially substituted by photovoltaic panels in amorphous silicon placed along the South facing pitch with a 30° angle . 

Green beans cultivated on mobile pallets in a mix of perlite and peat.

In addition to producing around 1.5 GWh of electricity per year, the structure, which is equipped with mobile pallets and ducts as well as an automatic fertigation plant, is used to produce soiless vegetables and herbs.

Green beans cultivated on mobile pallets in a mix of perlite and peat.

The greenhouse is also equipped with sensors for temperature control, an automated plant to manage the side and top openings, floor and air heating, heaters and spraying systems, and it can produce high-quality vegetables the whole year round.

Courgette flowers cultivated on mobile pallets in a mix of pearlite and peat.

The collaboration with researchers from "La Noria" was fundamental to plan the perfect growing technique and to choose the right crops, as they have been working for years in protected cropping and soilless cultivation.

Candonga strawberries in coconut fibre plates.

This season, there are excellent results in the cultivation of green beans, strawberries and courgette flowers.

Agronomist Francesco Di Gioia with Andrea Magnatta, vice-president and manager, display courgette flowers and "Portola" strawberries which are ready to be sold.

Transplanting of basil plants in pots containing peat.

Basil cultivated on mobile tables in a mix of perlite and peat.

Sage cultivated on mobile pallets in a mix of perlite and peat.

Fresh chilli peppers.

The company has a GlobalGap certification and is particularly taking care to sustainability of its production processes and to the quality of its products. It has cold storage units to pre-cool and store produce once harvested and it guarantees the delivery of products at controlled temperatures.

Mint in a packet.

Courgette flowers in a packet.

In the future, M&T Green Power would like to enlarge its greenhouses and to continue innovating its production processes, something that it has already started doing in collaboration with Francesco Di Gioia and the researchers from "La Noria".

Dott. Andrea Magnatta
M&T Green Power s.a.r.l.
Via Gentile, 99/A
70126 Bari
Tel./Fax: (+39) 080 5494280
Cell.: (+39) 347 5788686

Dott. Agr. Francesco Di Gioia
Dipartimento di Scienze Agro-ambientali e Territoriali
Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro"
Via G. Amendola, 165/A
70126 Bari
Tel.: (+39) 080 5443098
Cell.: (+39) 320 8266280

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