By Isabella Kaminski
Tenesol, a global solar power provider owned by Total and EDF, has built the solar PV system across 188 agricultural buildings belonging to 109 farmers in Ségala-Limargue in South-West France.
The €34 million solar PV project is the product of 18 months work between Sicaseli, a farmers' association, and Tenesol. The 6.9 MWp capacity installation is one of the largest collective energy developments in France.
The rooftop system covers 52,500 m2 and incorporates 31,000 of Tenesol’s solar PV modules, which were manufactured at the company’s plant in nearby Toulouse. The system can produce 7.2 MWh of electricity per year and is expected to deliver average annual revenues of €1.2 million over 20 years.
Benoit Rolland, CEO of Tenesol, says: “The Sicaseli project is a perfect example of how the farming community can act collectively to produce a large-scale PV system that not only benefits those involved but an entire region.”
Construction of the system began in September 2009. In most of the 188 buildings, the existing roof covering was removed and the support structure reinforced before the solar PV system was installed. The system was delivered by Tenesol on a turnkey basis and all the maintenance will now be handled by Sicaseli farmers.
Laurent Causse, Head of Energy at Sicaseli, says: “The economic impact of this project on both the farmers and region has been very significant. By taking on an additional role as an energy producer, farmers can expect to earn significant revenue while the region benefits from investment and economic development as a result of the net profit this programme generates. This project is a great example of how farming communities and renewable energy can work together to benefit all.”