Interview with Alain Delsol, mayor of Lavernose-Lacasse, town of 3,000 inhabitants along the Garonne River, south of Toulouse.
For his third term, Alain Delsol undertook, along with his municipal council, a project to develop former gravel quarries that had been exploited for thirty years. Property of the town, these spaces have today been converted into natural areas open to inhabitants, a hunting preserve, and now, in a reserved area, a renewable solar energy power production plant. “We have transformed the unstructured land into a fenced off site, monitored by camera, which produces electricity and works in favor of the environment, the town, and everyone. The installation of a ground-mounted solar power plant over nine hectares in located in an area where there are no homes, so nobody is inconvenienced.” Quite to the contrary, the mayor is pleased that the project was a success; an environmental and financial operation to the profit of the whole area (town, local municipalities, and the region). It took five years of work, slowed by the December 2010 moratorium, to go from the initial idea to installation. Alain Delsol also wants to plant trees and create a ten hectare wooded space on a former gravel quarry and continue this process of developing a rich landscape. “With Urbasolar, everything went well. I felt they were very engaged and we will be pursuing the next project together. We must prepare for the future. We are already an energy positive community with this plant, commissioned at the end of 2015, and we are now committed to a second production site across eight hectares. Addressing the elected officials of France, I would urge them to seize this type of opportunity. Taxes are collected without changing the tax rate and, if you are the owner of the land, you receive rental income as well. Wealth is created without having to ask every citizen for subsidies, donations, or to pay more taxes.” Now, Lavernose-Lacasse owns both its historically registered XIIth century Roman church and a renewable energy site, fruit of the latest technologies.