Urbasolar and Vichy Communauté start building a solar power plant on a derelict airfield site

Photo Centrale Solaire

Located on the site of the Vichy-Charmeil airfield, the solar power plant on which work began in early October, will generate 17 MWp of power. The project, supported by Vichy Communauté and the group Urbasolar, is technically complex due to the nature of the site.

Committed to the energy transition

As part of its “Positive Energy Territory” initiative, the Vichy Communauté d’Agglomération (Vichy urban community) has decided to turn the derelict Vichy-Charmeil airfield into a source of renewable energy by installing a photovoltaic power plant. Located in the communes of Charmeil and Saint-Rémy-en-Rollat, the 16-hectare derelict site, which belongs to the commune of Vichy, will be covered in solar panels by 2025.

With an output of 17 MWp and an annual production of 21,300 MWh, the plant will produce the equivalent of the electricity consumption of nearly 4,547 households, or around 40% of the population of Vichy.

A complex project linked to the aeronautical industry

With its long experience in the photovoltaic sector, Urbasolar has extensive expertise in the development and construction of projects on sensitive sites such as the airfield.

As the airfield is still in operation, Urbasolar has had to adapt to the specific safety requirements of the aeronautical industry. For example, during the construction phase, lorry schedules on site will be imposed in the event of a busy flight schedule, a regulatory distance from the runway will have to be respected, and the configuration of the power plant has been adapted to avoid any risk of dazzle. The site is also affected by a “PPRI” (flood risk prevention plan), and the structures supporting the solar panels and the transformer and delivery substations will be raised.

The launch of this project reflects the commitment of the Vichy community and conurbation to becoming a “Positive Energy Territory” and to covering all the area’s energy consumption with renewable energy production by 2050.

PV Plant picture –  Photo Credit : © Urbasolar