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Enel Green Power (EGP) is looking for innovative solutions aimed at integrating agro-zoological activities within ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) power plants, not requiring plant layout modifications, while creating new opportunities for local communities and markets through a more efficient and sustainable land utilization.  

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


Enel Green Power is a global leader in the renewable energy sector and is committed to contribute to an innovative and sustainable energy production, adopting a proactive approach aimed at creating shared value between the Company and the ecosystem.

Enel Green Power strategy aims at the development and the adoption of innovative solutions able to support the transition towards a more sustainable and efficient way of generating electricity in the long term.

Among others, the sustainable design of utility-scale PV plants represents an important pillar of this strategy, as PV will be one of the most relevant contributors to the growth of renewables in the next decade. Utility-scale PV plants require large installation areas and their integration with other activities represents a valuable opportunity for optimizing land-use, enhancing ecosystem services and creating benefit for the surrounding territories and communities.

More specifically, the coexistence in the same area of agricultural activities and PV plants (known as agrivoltaic or agrophotovoltaic) is an approach to create benefit for local communities, allowing a more efficient use of land and preserving or even improving biodiversity.

Although solar installations and agriculture can be compatible and even mutually beneficial, only a few utility-scale agrivoltaic solutions have been developed worldwide so far for hosting pollinator-friendly habitats.

Due to the above considerations, Enel Green Power (EGP) is committed to investigate innovative and sustainable solutions aimed at co-locating agricultural and zoological activities within ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) plants using a holistic approach, involving all the exogenous factors related to land use in solar farms.

This Challenge provides contribution to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

  •  SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

For questions about the challenge and your proposal you can contact EnelOpenInnovabilityChallenges@innocentive.com.




The combination of agriculture and photovoltaic (PV) plants, known as agrivoltaic or agrophotovoltaic, is a strategy approach to create a benefit for local communities. Recent research has shown that solar energy production and agricultural activities can be compatible and even mutually beneficial, but so far large-scale applications have only been developed for hosting pollinator-friendly habitats.

Enel Green Power is committed to increasing the valorization of the areas occupied by PV power plants and is looking for new agricultural and zoological solutions and operating strategies that can allow their co-location and integration with large solar farms. Strategies must not interfere with the layout and operation of existing bifacial ground-mounted PV plants and must take into account:

  • Multi-purpose land use (e.g. crops/flora and vegetation, grazing habitat for livestock);
  • Wildlife habitat and biodiversity preservation;
  • Local ecosystem valorization;
  • Collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach.



Enel Green Power (EGP) is looking for innovative solutions aimed at integrating and co-locating agro-zoological activities within ground-mounted, utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) plants, not requiring layout modifications, while promoting a more efficient and sustainable land utilization.

The specific focus is the identification of solutions applicable in different climate and geographical areas, suitable for integration in existing solar plants based on ground-mounted bifacial PV panels, with a front and back active surface to convert solar energy into electricity.

Some examples, to be considered only as reference, may be:

  • Crop growth, considering plant production tradeoffs from partial to total shade conditions;
  • Pollinator-friendly habitat integration, evaluating the growth of multiple seed mixes underneath and among the solar panels and monitoring of mutual benefits for biodiversity;
  • Zoological solutions, raising and grazing sheep, rabbits or other livestock on a land with photovoltaic plants;
  • Water stress and microclimatic heterogeneity research in the interaction of the combined energy and crop production.


The main layout features of considered existing PV plants are:

  • ground-mounted bifacial panels arranged in parallel lines; bi-facial solar panels are equipped with solar cells on both sides of the panel (front and rear), so as to produce more energy, taking advantage of direct sunlight as well as light reflected from the ground;
  • horizontal tracker with tilt angle that can achieve +/- 60°; when the tracker is at its maximum tilt angle, the tracker achieves the minimum distance from the ground (20-70 cm); 


An example of the layout is provided in Annex 1 – Panels Layout Example.

Submissions should address the following Solution Requirements:

The proposed solution must:

  • Allow to maintain the main layout features of PV plants as stated above;
  • Take into account ground reflectance, which is fundamental for the energy production of the PV plant;
  • Allow access to the PV modules (to at least one person) for needed maintenance activities;
  • Be based on sustainable principles, guaranteeing a circular approach for products produced, with no waste.


The proposed solution should describe possible uses of products/byproducts and of stakeholders/third parties that may benefit the development or the implementation of the solutions, creating a value chain.

Moreover, the proposed solution should target different climate areas and latitudes; the Seeker is interested in solutions implementable in the European Mediterranean Area, North and South America, between -30° and +45° of latitude.

Moreover, the proposed solution must not impact negatively the energy production of the plant; for example, it is necessary to avoid all the interventions that could:

  • cover or shadow the modules (front and back parts);
  • hinder the movement of the tracking structures;
  • damage the modules or the structures;
  • negatively influence the natural albedo.



The submitted proposal should at least include the following documentation:

  • A detailed technical description and explanation;
  • An analysis of the technical, environmental, social and economic aspects:
    • quantitative and qualitative assessment of the environmental impact of the proposed overall process on the ecosystem;
    • evaluation of impact also in terms of circular economy goals (i.e. expected quantity of crops produced),
    • costs and benefits;
  • Identification of potential risks or eventual constraints;
  • Identification of possible uses of products/byproducts and of stakeholders/third parties that may benefit from the development or the implementation of the solutions, creating a value chain;
  • Data, case studies, patent and journal references or any additional material that supports the proposed solutions.


The proposal should not include any personal identifying information (name, username, company, address, phone, email, personal website, resume, etc.) or any information the Solvers may consider as their Intellectual Property they do not want to share.

Challenge rules

All proposers are invited to read carefully the challenge and the Regulation of this challenge, attached below in the Attachments section, before submitting a solution.

By submitting a solution they automatically accept the attached Regulations other than the Terms of Use of this platform.

Explain your proposal clearly and attach documents if needed (max 5 files, 25MB total size).



The employees of the Enel Group who are involved in the organization and management of the Competition or admitted to the Open Innovability Portal back office, as well as their spouses or partners and their relatives up to the fourth degree, are not eligible for participation in this Challenge.

Also, employees of Enel Green Power S.p.A. who have worked in the technical sector of the photovoltaic innovation field and that work, in the moment of the competition, on PV plants development and sustainability activities, or their spouses, partners or any of their relatives up to the fourth grade determined according to Italian law are not eligible for the participation to this Challenge.



Without prejudice to the article 5.5 of the Terms of Use, the obligation to grant the IP rights set in this article does not apply if the winning solution is proposed by an employee of an Enel company, unless the employee is the owner of the solution according to the relevant national law.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award for at least one solution. The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000. In case of multiple awarded solutions (maximum six (6)), there will be at least one submission receiving an award no smaller than $5,000, while the others won’t be smaller than $1,000.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.



Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (Central European Time) on July 10th, 2020.

Late submissions will not be considered.

Specific regulation in the CSA attached at the bottom of this page.

What happens next?

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions. Furthermore, since this is an ideation challenge, Solvers will only receive an high level evaluation of each submission.

Enel will evaluate the proposal using the following criteria:

  • Overall scientific and technical feasibility of the proposed solution;
  • Economic potential of concept (e.g. Total Cost of Ownership);
  • Business potential for Enel;
  • Novelty and creativity;
  • Potential for proprietary position (i.e., is the technology novel or protectable);
  • User’s capabilities and related experience;
  • Realism of the proposed solution;
  • Maturity level of the proposal.


In case the reward includes “Collaboration with Enel”, once suitable solution/s have been identified, Enel will reserve the opportunity to start a collaboration, by way of example, all or part of the following activities:

  • Test execution;
  • Supply of prototypes (if an equipment);
  • Installation and site tests;
  • Follow up and monitoring of the proposed idea behavior.


Upon completion of the evaluation, you will receive feedback.

In case of success, an Enel contact person will get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.

The final award for this Challenge is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the verification process, including acceptance of the Challenge-Specific Agreement (CSA) that is the regulation for this Challenge.

The verification process includes obtaining the following from the Solver: signed affidavit (based on the CSA), employer waiver (if applicable), and proof of identify.



InnoCentive collaborates with Enel to manage this challenge.

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.


CSA - Regulation Agrivoltaic challenge

PDF (0.3MB) Download

About the seeker Enel - Enel Green Power - GPG

PDF (0.21MB) Download

Challenge Agrovoltaic Annex 1 Panels Layout Example

PPTX (0.12MB) Download

Enel Open Innovability User Guide

PDF (0.66MB) Download

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