Des moutons sous les panneaux solaires : les agriculteurs de l

Sheep under solar panels: Yonne farmers embark on agrivoltaism



Since its creation in 2018, the company GLHD (Green Lighthouse Development) has supported the implementation of large-scale agrivoltaism projects carried out by groups of farmers all over France.

The goal? “Replace these professionals at the heart of the energy transition by combining diversified agricultural production, local renewable energy production and environmental sobriety”, summarize Florian Fillon, GLHD project manager and Jérôme Bourgeois, communication director, contacted by video. .

“A greening of agricultural practices”

The department of Yonne seems particularly involved in “this greening of agricultural practices”, with six collectives of farmers created in recent years. More specifically in Avallonnais and Tonnerrois, where the land is “stony and superficial”.

What is agrivoltaism? Explanations with two projects carried out in the Avallonnais

“Local farmers are experiencing sharply rising operating costs due to the inflationary context”, contextualize the representatives of the GLHD company.

Neither soil artificialization nor deforestation

Also, the company finances feasibility studies, in conjunction with other organizations (such as chambers of agriculture), in order to allow these groups of farmers to diversify their activities.

“We start from the constraints of the territory to make something positive out of it.”

Florian Fillon, GLHD project manager (empty)

According to the two men, agrivoltaism is above all the insurance for farmers to be more independent “by reintegrating, for example, livestock (sheep, chickens, etc.) or new sectors such as the plantation of ‘aromatic trees’, requiring less inputs.

It is above all the guarantee of “not artificializing the soil, nor carrying out deforestation”, they plead. While protecting against climatic hazards.

An interesting financial windfall

Beyond that, the installation of photovoltaic panels on agricultural plots offers the possibility for farmers to receive an annual rent. In addition, agrivoltaism allows the production of electricity sold to suppliers at competitive prices and reinjected into the local network.

“We are not on a subsidized model. Agrivoltaism is a solution for the future for land-based professions, especially in a context of securing energy and food. There is a real issue of energy sovereignty.”

For Macron, we must go “faster on agrivoltaism”

A thought visibly shared by the President of the Republic: “The renewable energy emergency law will make it possible to go faster on agrivoltaism and to accelerate connections for these projects”, defended Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the “Les Terres de Jim” event organized at the beginning of September in Outarville (Loiret). With the aim of achieving carbon neutrality in the country by 2050.

Between Noyers, Annay and Censy, twelve farmers are embarking on an agrivoltaic farm project

This Icaunian anticipation should precisely make it possible to facilitate this energy transition. Provided that you communicate well on the subject with the authorities and the public.

Consultation as a key word

“There are a lot of consultations upstream of the implementation of such projects”, assures Jérôme Bourgeois. Both on their purpose and on the sensory impacts they can generate for the population. This consultation is all the more necessary, according to GLHD, as “the operation of these projects lasts forty years”.

Consultation has indeed been one of the watchwords of the eleven farmers involved (for six farms) in such a project and united within the Grimault Agrivoltaic Association. “We had many phases of consultation with the inhabitants”, displays Jérôme Piffoux, the new president of this collective.

The project carried out in the municipality consists of installing photovoltaic panels on the equivalent of 70 hectares of land. “It’s a safety net, it ensures us a share of fixed income”, he considers.

Aromatic and truffle plants

Above all, the operation should make it possible to create an additional area of ​​pasture below these panels for the 400 sheep belonging to one of the farmers. It also provides for “the introduction of aromatic plants, even a truffle”.

“It’s a smart way to sustain farms and ensure their economic sustainability.”

Jérôme Piffoux, president of the Grimault Agrivoltaic Association (empty)

After consulting the public, a fauna and flora inventory was drawn up. The building permit will be filed by the end of the year. The realization should thus take place “early 2025”.

Five other agrivoltaic projects are carried out by groups of Icaunese farmers. Including that of the Nucerian Solar Fields (in picture), which is more advanced but comes up against the opposition of the inhabitants, united under the association Vivre à Noyers. Unless changed, it should be launched in 2024.

Agrivoltaism in the Yonne in figures

1.000 Gigawatt/hour is the average annual electricity production expected by these agrivoltaic projects in Icaun.
60 Icaunais farmers are engaged with GLHD in agrivoltaism, grouped within six collectives.
10-15 hectares is the minimum area of ​​plots on which photovoltaic panels are installed.

Arnaud Charrier


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