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An experimental plant for sustainable electricity generation with a high-mounted photovoltaic system was put into operation in a vineyard near Donnerkirchen in Burgenland (Austria). The pilot project at the Liegenfeld vineyard is being scientifically accompanied by the Technical University Wien and the Federal Office for Viticulture in Eisenstadt. The effects on wine quality, agriculture, the landscape and the cultural landscape are being studied. The project is called "SonnenWein" (SunWine) and, according to winemaker Andreas Liegenfeld, has a pioneering role in German-speaking countries. He expects advantages in protection against hail and heavy rain as well as improved frost protection, because heating wires could be fed from mobile energy storage units on frosty nights. However, the passage of tractors is possible without any problems.

The project is investigating whether the shading has a negative impact on wine quality. The only disadvantage known so far is that the photovoltaic system makes it impossible to work the vines overhead. The first "SonnenWein" - a Chardonnay - is to be vinified in 2022.

(al / Source: Der Winzer; Photo: Walter Kaltzin)

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