Sun Farming: 89-Acre Solar Array Energizes 9,000 French Homes

May 31, 2011
Fields of solar panels to replace fields of lavender in Provence. (Photo: Enfinity Corp)

France took a huge step forward in the field of renewable energy this month.

Two massive solar panel farms were constructed in Les Mées, a village in Provence. The solar panel fields occupy a whopping 89 acres. The solar photovoltaic (PV) project will provide electricity for 9,000 homes, reports GOOD.

Three hundred fifty construction workers labored for nine months to complete the installation. The project cost 70 million Euros. It was commissioned and built by Enfinity, a corporation dedicated to the development of renewable energy. 

Sunglasses highly recommended. (Photo: Enfinity Corp)

In order to best absorb the sun’s rays, the field is located on a plateau at an altitude of 800 meters.

Enfinity had environmental impact in mind at all stages of the construction. In an attempt to integrate the endless fields into the surrounding environment, wild grass was planted between the rows of panels to create a grazing area for local sheep herds.

The panels have a life-span of 20 years, after which they will need to be removed from the site. This is why Enfinity took the customary concrete foundations out of their design plans. In 20 years, the removal of the panels will reveal healthy land, reports GOOD.

The Les Mées solar farm is a reflection of France’s stated commitment to renewable energy.

“The French government is planning to increase the percentage of renewable energy to 23 percent of the total energy consumed by 2020”, explained Matthias Böhm of the Doric Asset Finance's Doric Solar Provence Fund, which bought the solar power farms from Enfinity.

This site alone will reduce CO2 emission by more than 9,200 tons annually, according to Enfinity. France seems to be off to a good start in its mission to turn to renewable energy sources.

Quick Study: Green Living

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