In Nièvre, solar power projects in agricultural areas are mounting under tension

In Nièvre, solar power projects in agricultural areas are mounting under tension

As a petition circulates against his solar power plant project, Carole Colavet presents a fear-stricken face. “Let the farm be a ZAD where everyone will come and squat”. Carole and her husband Alain have been growing Charolais for fifteen years in the beautiful village of La Nocle-Moulaix. 285 inhabitants, in the heart of a forest, South of Nivre. In 2020, they signed a lease agreement with Parisian SME Fotosol, a specialist in the production of photovoltaic energy using large ground-based power plants and a subsidiary of Rubis Group, a specialist in the storage of petroleum products.

A farmland in La Nocle-Maulaix (Nièvre) on October 21, 2022.  An agrivoltaic power plant operated by Photosol is to be built there.
The La Nocle-Maulaix (Nièvre) agrivoltaic plant covers an area of ​​55 hectares.

In exchange for the proceeds, Kolavets hopes to provide tens of thousands of solar panels. Fifty-five of their eighty hectares are pasture and farmland for an annual production of 63 gigawatt hours (GWh) for thirty years. “That is, besides the heat equivalent to the consumption of 28,000 people”, According to the company. Commissioning has been announced by the end of 2025.

Avril-sur-Loire, Germenay, Vandenesse, Chevenon, Champvert, Saint-Parize-le-Châtel, Langeron etc. Around sixty projects are currently under study across the Nièvre, with the Chamber of Agriculture targeting a total area of ​​2,000 hectares. Some residents object to high-voltage lines encroaching on their land. It is necessary to think of a new way or burial is too expensive. The plans, spread over several nearby farms, fail when one of the owners backs out.

“Oil Spill Panels”

On June 13, in La Nocle-Maulaix, Photosol Collavet organized an information meeting for thirty neighbors of farmers. There was electricity in the air. A small group of opponents rose up. Christened “Save the Nivernais bocage”, it is chaired by Catherine Maigeon, a municipal councilor and retired banker. She calls a meeting with all the citizens at this time and can no longer be permanent by appointment. To this day, by his reckoning, a third of the village remains hostile to the plant. “Again, we didn’t go to see everyone. People get along well with the farmers and didn’t dare to sign our petition, but they are worried about this oil spill. » Carol Colvette regrets being part of her own sister collective: “She thinks we’re going to hit the jackpot…”

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