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Voltiris’ greenhouse photovoltaic solution gets FIT boost


23 May 2022

Voltiris has developed a new generation of colour optimized photovoltaic panels to maximize sunlight both for growing crops and producing renewable energy.

High tech glass greenhouses will be key for the future of agriculture to feed the growing global population. However, these greenhouses require energy for heating (gas and electricity), which has a financial, as well as an environmental cost. To address this, Voltiris has developed greenhouse-compatible photovoltaic modules.

Voltiris’ solution enables greenhouse owners to produce renewable energy to power their greenhouses while growing crops efficiently. Therefore, greenhouse owners can improve their energetic autonomy while reducing their costs and improving their sustainability.

The Vaud-based start-up’s technology lets through the light components needed by the plants (mostly red and blue), while the rest (green and near infrared) is reflected and focused onto a photovoltaic module. Renewable electricity is produced without impacting the agricultural yield, as 100% of the light needed by crops is transmitted.

As a result, Voltiris’ technologies on both the module and a self-developed sun-tracking system are very competitive in terms of cost of energy, ensuring a compelling ROI for users.

Preparing industrialization through larger-scale pilot projects

The team behind Voltiris relies on a broad range of advisors and experts bringing specific skills in agriculture, energy, and mechanical development. In addition, Voltiris benefits from the support of Innosuisse, HES-SO and the Agroscope for a total amount of CHF 180,000 to conduct an agronomical study with a live pilot. The start-up also submitted two patents on high photovoltaic yield and solar tracking to ensure low energy cost.

Voltiris has also received a Tech Seed loan in the amount of CHF 100,000 from the FIT to prepare its industrialization and conduct larger-scale pilot projects. In addition, the FIT loan will finance, together with other fundings, the technical development, necessary to unlock customer access.

Once the technical validity is established, Voltiris will seek to start the commercialization phase with selected partners in Switzerland and the Netherlands before pushing its efforts to expand globally.