- EDF Renouvelables has inaugurated a 20 MW floating solar project in France as its 1st such facility in the country
- A crowdfunded project in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, it has a working life of 30 years
- The project will complement the hydroelectric dam on whose lake it is situated, especially in summer when the water is used for irrigation
- EDF has also inaugurated an agrivoltaic demonstrator on rice crops in Gard region to study its effects on crops for 3 years
The renewable energy arm of French energy group EDF, EDF Renouvelables is expanding its portfolio with newer applications for solar, and in this regard, it is inaugurating a 20 MW floating solar plant on the lake of a hydroelectric dam, and an agrivoltaic demonstrator on rice crops, both in France.
The Lazer Floating PV plant in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is the 1st such project for EDF Renewables in France. It is equipped with more than 50,000 panels. EDF says the floating installation complements the dam especially in summer when the water is used for crop irrigation. It is to have a working life of 30 years.
EDF has been able to raise money through crowdfunding that brought in €179,000 from the locals for the project that it won under a tender of the Energy Regulation Commission in 2018. Construction began in 2021 (see EDF Enters Floating Solar Space With 20 MW Project).
The company has been working on floating solar plants in the US and Israel, but it is the 1st time EDF has brought online a floating PV project in France. It says its international experience helped with the French project (see 19.3 MW Floating Solar PV Project Planned In Israel).
The Lazer floating project will be followed by 4 more solar power plants to be commissioned by the company in 2023 in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
A few hours away from Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, in Gard EDF Renouvelables and partners have also inaugurated an agrivoltaic demonstrator on rice crops in rotation with alfalfa. The project is located in Gard’s Beaucaire town which will help them study the co-existence between agricultural and renewable energy production.
For the next 3 years, they plan to monitor the effects of panels on the crop that have been installed 5 meters higher, on specific structures to allow for the passage of agricultural machinery. EDF said the foundations of these structures are designed to adapt to unstable ground characteristics of rice cultivation in flooded areas.
The company is currently developing around 50 agrivoltaic projects in France.
“Thanks to three demonstrators in France (Les Renardières, Adeli and Vitisolar), we are carrying out studies on the effects of photovoltaic panels on different crops,” said Head of New Technologies Department at EDF Renewables, Axel Becker. “The reflections, collaborations and feedback from these demonstrators allow us to identify the most suitable crops and technologies, both agronomically and environmentally and economically.”