As part of its low carbon strategy APRR & AREA have made available to TotalEnergies and Altergie a disused plot next to the motorway on which to build and operate the “Mérysol” photovoltaic plant. The first of its type in Savoie, the solar farm, which is opened today, has been operational since 23 December 2020.
Situated alongside the A41 motorway, the 6-hectare plot was made available in 2016 to TotalEnergies and Altergie. Mérysol, the first ground-mounted solar farm in Savoie, has 11,340 solar panels. With a cumulative power of 5 MWp, the plant will produce the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 4,672 inhabitants and will reduced CO2 emissions by 191 tonnes per year.
Winner of the “CRE 4” tender in August 2018, this project benefits from a fixed purchase tariff for its production for 20 years. The power produced is injected into the local power distribution grid.
Three partners strongly involved
“This first solar farm next to the A41 perfectly illustrates the APRR Group’s low carbon strategy,” explains Guillaume Hérent, Deputy General Director of APRR.
“It is essential that we control the environmental impact of our activities, protecting biodiversity and limiting our greenhouse gas emissions. This involves the implementation of innovative solutions, through targeted partnerships like this one. We intend to replicate this first success elsewhere: we are already working on other photovoltaic farm projects across our motorway network.”
“We are so pleased that APRR placed its trust in us for its first project next to a motorway,” adds Jean-Charles Lavigne Delville, President of Altergie Développement. “We are also extremely proud that we were able to develop, in partnership with TotalEnergies, the first ground-mounted solar plant in Savoie, a territory on which we weren’t previously present”.
“We are delighted with the outcome of the project,” adds Laurent Groleau, Regional Development Director, East, TotalEnergies. “We brought the project to fruition with permanent consultation with our partners and local stakeholders: co-design of the project, selection of local providers, environmental, landscaping and agricultural measures for the construction and operation phases… This work demonstrates the commitment and know-how of our teams in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. This success drives us to continue supporting the projects of the territories, thereby contributing to achieving collective renewable energy deployment targets”.
Two luminous ideas
The final characteristics of the plant were defined in close collaboration with the site’s residents: a separate site access from the south was favoured, as well as a junction alongside the motorway to avoid municipal roadways. Tall trees and evergreen hedges have been planted around the plant to limit its visual impact for the surrounding dwellings.
In collaboration with a farmer neighbouring the site, an experiment is to take place to see if Aubrac cows and ground-mounted photovoltaic panels can live together. An initial 1-hectare plot of the plant has already been sown with a mix of grasses approved by the farmer and expert naturalists. Following the test, which will include observing the behaviour of the animals vis-à-vis the structures, the whole site will be sown and the herd will then have free access to the whole plant site.
About APRR and AREA motorways
- 2,323 km of motorways
- 3,500 employees committed to safety and mobility
- Serving the Paris-Lyon axis and connecting major business hubs at the heart of western Europe
Altergie is an independent company committed to the development and operation of solar plants in France. With the aim of placing renewable energies at the service of local development, Altergie is committed to providing consumers with reliable and green electricity at controlled costs, mindful of the social and environmental challenges.
TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy generation and supply company: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables and electricity. Its 105,000 employees are committed to providing energy that is ever more affordable, cleaner, more reliable and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development, in all its dimensions, at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people.