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Photos of solar sheep and an eco-winery capture Italy’s green journey

THESE inquisitive sheep (pictured above) are on their way home after a hard day’s grazing among the 71 hectares of solar panels at a solar farm in Sant’Alberto, Italy, a small area about 14 kilometres north of Ravenna.

The solar farm works in synergy with the Buon Pastore dairy and sheep farm, with the sheep helping to maintain the turf areas. The solar panels are capable of generating a peak of 35 megawatts of electricity.

The project is one of several captured by photographer Luigi Avantaggiato for his new series Islands of Energy, which focuses on examples of Italian sustainability of all sizes. These aren’t big players like British Gas or the Italian energy provider Eni, says Avantaggiato. On the contrary, he says, they are “heroes” – sustainability outsiders whose models of self-production and electricity consumption make a real difference in the energy crisis.

Below the picture of the sheep is a view of the entrance to the cellar of the Salcheto winery in Montepulciano. Vertical gardens and a recovery system for natural ventilation insulate it from the summer heat without resorting to air conditioning. Inside, the cellar (pictured above) is lit naturally using solar collectors and curved mirrors to channel sunlight into its various levels. It is “very charming”, says Avantaggiato.

A hydroelectric plant on the Esino river at Angeli di Rosora is pictured above. The plant is part of an electricity network that powers the Leaf Community, the first ecologically sustainable community in Italy.

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