Genêts agrivoltaic project: planning permission granted

Genêts agrivoltaic project: planning permission granted

Lundi 24 Juillet 2023 à 00h00

In a decree issued on last 5th April, the Allier Prefecture granted H2air planning permission to build a ground-based solar power plant at Domérat. The appeal and withdrawal periods were completed at the beginning of July.

This authorisation marks an important new step towards the realisation of this agrivoltaic project on an already fenced-off 70-hectare site. This one became agricultural wasteland in 2012 and has been used as hunting reserve.

An archaeological diagnosis will now be carried out in the next few months. Work is scheduled to start in autumn 2024, with commissioning scheduled for 2025.

Recovering the agricultural potential thanks to the solar power plant

This project will combine the production of electricity, estimated at 43,000 GWh per year (enough to power 13,437 homes), with the resumption of a pastoral activity. It will perpetuate the operation of a young sheep farmer based in Boussac-Bourg, around twenty kilometers from Domérat.

Several hundred ewes and rams will occupy the site in harmonious cohabitation with the solar power plant. This one will be installed on only half the surface area (34.5 ha), while respecting the biodiversity of the land (wetlands and linear hedgerows).

The panels will cover an area of 17 hectares. Their height at the lowest point has been set at 1 meter. They will contribute to animal welfare by providing sheep with both shelter and food, without adversely affecting fodder resources. On the other hand, the shaded areas will protect the grass from the effects of drought. 

Supported by local authorities

This project will be one of the most powerful in France and has the support of the local government. Included in the photovoltaic zoning plan drawn up by Montluçon Communauté, it will help it to achieve its goal of 78% energy autonomy by 2050. The municipality of Domérat was in favour of the project both before and after the public enquiry.

Close to the territory

As part of its commitment to the local area, H2air has partnered several local associations. For example, the ponsoring of AS Domérat football club.

The project will also be the subject of accompanying measures, in particular a fruit tree sale for local residents, which will be organised in autumn 2024.