Interview with François Boussard, President of the Sud Sarthe Local Authorities Group (72)
Located on a former military munitions depot (ETAMAT in Aubigné-Racan) which closed in 1999, the solar energy plant project is part of the rehabilitation of the site which had already undergone explosives decontamination, dismantling of the military installations and ground decontamination.
« The solar energy plant project was born out of a desire by the Sud Sarthe Local Authorities Group, with strong support from the municipality of Vaas, to rehabilitate a shared site which had fallen into disuse. This site, which has been subjected to prolonged decontamination efforts, has thus been transformed into a property asset with great potential for producing solar power. The project had to overcome some constraints before seeing the light of day, in particular due to the presence of a rare species of butterfly on the site. We chose the Urbasolar Group due to their long expertise in the rehabilitation of derelict sites. Urbasolar has shown a flexible approach to project development, ensuring that the solar power plant can be installed while respecting the local flora and fauna.
Solar energy represents a great economic and environmental opportunity for both the local authorities and local residents alike. The Sud Sarthe Local Authorities Group is delighted to begin moving their region towards developing renewable energy, with the rehabilitation of this site as a source of production of green electricity. The solar energy plant in Vaas was also the first PV solar plant in the southern part of the department.”
The plant, with an output of 18 MWp, is located on the ZAC Loirécopark and covers an area of 24 hectares. Its annual production of 19,800 MWh will cover the electricity needs of 9,100 people, i.e., 40% of the population of the Sud Sarthe Local Authorities area.