One of the consequences of climate change is that the growing phase of plants became longer: this also means that lawn mowing needs to be done more often. Mowing up to 4-6 times a year is a particular challenge for multi-hectare solar power plants. However, there is a better, more ecofriendly and low budget way to mow in solar power plants than manual or mechanical mowing: this method is grazing.
Solar grazing is a win-win situation
Solar grazing is a common practice in several countries and ASTRASUN was inspired by Western examples when the company decided to graze sheep on its solar power plants. After the first year, due to the good experience, ASTRASUN has launched a sheep breeding business. From 2022, other solar power plant operators will also be able to use ASTRASUN’s solar grazing service, which is currently unique in Hungary.
The company knows from experience that solar grazing results a win-win situation in all aspects: a securely fenced solar park is an ideal environment for sheep with it’s offering of lush pasture, shade and protection. ASTRASUN “solar sheep” are special hybrids: resistant, short, calm, so they pose the least risk when being kept in solar power plants.
Why is it worth using sheep to mow instead of mowing mechanically or manually?
- Machine mowing is loud, polluting and often involves stone chipping. Stone chips can destroy solar panels. The practice of solar grazing is quiet and ecofriendly.
- It creates a balance between agriculture and the solar industry. The area of solar power plants remains in agricultural use.
- The sheep are constantly mowing the grass while fertilizing the soil. This will enrich biodiversity and soil, while increasing the value of the area.
- Cut grass dries out and becomes flammable. With solar grazing, this can be avoided.
Green PV parks with low budget
In Hungary, solar grazing is not yet widespread among solar power plant operators, and this is due to a lack of knowledge, fear of novelty and many misunderstandings. It is a common misconception that solar sheep do damage to solar power plants. However, ASTRASUN has never experienced anything like this! The sheep don’t jump on the modules, they do not beat the inverters, and they never get stuck in anything. The area of solar power plants used as pasture has clearly become greener and their biodiversity has become richer. Solar grazing has already proven to be a worthwhile investment in its first year!
ASTRASUN's new "Solar Sheep" service provides flock of sheep to solar power plants for a fee. The service is for a grazing season and includes grooming the sheep and cleaning the area next to the fence with traditional methods. The service is always preceded by a thorough field survey: it must be examined whether the solar power plant is suitable for grazing sheep on it.