Dutch researchers warn against solar modules on grass-covered dykes

The Dutch research project »Zon op Dijken« (Solar on Dykes) has published a final report on the potential of dykes as a location for photovoltaic systems. The report presents the experience gathered and evaluated at two test sites with four different systems. The Dutch dykes have a total length of about 17,000 kilometers.
All of the tested variants » were generally found to function very well from the point of view of electricity generation«, according to a release on the final report. However, in the big picture, only dykes covered with concrete or similar materials are considered suitable. For grass-covered dykes – by far the largest proportion – it has been shown that solar modules on the sloping dyke surfaces shade the turf to such an extent that »that the quality of the grass cover deteriorates rapidly«. This endangers the stability of the dike.
Nevertheless, the project consortium consisting of various institutes and authorities under the leadership of TNO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor toegepast-natuurwetenschappelijk onderzoek) does not want to completely abandon this variant: »Further research« is necessary to determine »definitive system configurations« in which the grass layer is guaranteed not to be affected.

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