RUTE uses cable supports to dramatically reduce cost.
Press Release: https://www.issuewire.com/rute-suntracker-is-first-agrivoltaic-high-clearance-dual-use-system-to-be-competitive-with-conventional-solar-1745153324253300
What to Know
RUTE has developed an economical, utility-scale solution to high clearance solar.
RUTE SUNTRACKER uses cables (instead of buried steel posts) to support the system, reducing steel usage by 30%.
The system tracks the sun providing the lowest electricity cost of any agrivoltaic system.
Dual use, Agrivoltaics, traditionally has 2-3 times the structural cost of conventional solar (source: NREL), whereas RUTE SUNTRACKER is nearly on par and suitable for utility-scale.
RUTE SUNTRACKER requires no land bulldozing, so the land retains its original use without damage.
Image Left: Schematic for utility scale 24x24 array on cattle pasture.
Image Right: 2 pole pilot at Standing Rock Reservation, ND.
Agrivoltaics, farming or ranching under solar panels, has been gaining traction around the world as prime solar land becomes more scarce. An agrivoltaics array is typically raised above 8’ to allow agriculture to continue underneath, providing revenue from solar while keeping the original use of the land. Extensive research has shown the partial shade has a net positive effect on agriculture yield. “Despite being beneficial for the landowner, agrivoltaics has historically been a difficult sell for the developer,” said Doug Krause, President, RUTE Foundation Systems. “Now that we have a system with attractive economics to all stakeholders, we expect dual use utility scale agrivoltaics to grow exponentially”.
RUTE SUNTRACKER has solved the cost issue through the use of its cable-stayed structure. Like a cable suspension bridge, up to 25% less steel is needed. RUTE SUNTRACKER also uses the cables to rotate the panels to track the sun, providing up to 28% more electricity than fixed panels. With its lower cost and the additional revenue from tracking, RUTE SUNTRACKER is the first agrivoltaic system to achieve a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) competitive with conventional solar.
RUTE received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and Business Oregon to build a pilot, and RUTE is now building its Proving Ground at the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC R&D) in Scappoose, OR. OMIC R&D is a collaborative effort between industry, academia, and the government with the goal of driving applied solutions directly to the shop floor.
About RUTE Foundation Systems, Inc.: Founded in Oregon in 2015, RUTE develops efficient modular foundations for renewable energy. In 2021 RUTE SUNTRACKER team innovated the patent pending high clearance (agrivoltaic) solar tracking solution. With RUTE SUNTRACKER the wind load flows through trusses to the cables, reducing the steel weight. Combined with its tracking software solution, it provides the lowest levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for high-clearance solar.