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Saumur: solar rebirth for a former landfill

In Maine-et-Loire, EDF Renewables inaugurated a solar power plant which gives an environmentally friendly future to a former technical landfill center.

The Saumur Chemin vert landfill is getting a makeover. Dating from 1970 and closed in the 2000s, it now has 25,500 panels. Spread over 9.5 hectares for a total power of 11.3 MW, this site now contributes to the energy transition of its territory by providing the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 5,500 inhabitants, or nearly 20% of electricity needs of Saumur.​​​​​​​

The rehabilitation of this type of site is part of the process of promoting degraded or abandoned sites. It makes it possible to breathe new life into land that cannot accommodate, given its past as a former landfill, neither agricultural activity, nor leisure activity, nor housing.

A power plant built with residents

“This project is the initiative of elected officials and benefits from strong support from them. It represents an unprecedented challenge of integrating a solar power plant in the heart of a town with a particularly rich architectural, historical and wine-growing heritage. The challenge consists of both revaluing a neglected site and successfully integrating the park into a densely populated and protected urban peri-city center. »

Lucie Prudhomme, Development Project Manager at EDF Renewables

To achieve this, the EDF Renewables teams directly involved residents by organizing crowdfunding for a total amount of €96,000. This collection was used in part for the construction of the power plant and allowed citizens to benefit from financial income from the project.

Furthermore, the Saumur solar power plant is located on plots belonging to the municipality, a source of additional economic benefits for the region.

A power plant that respects the environment and the landscape

The teams worked in collaboration with the city to identify and integrate biodiversity and landscape issues into the project. ​Thus, the installation avoids certain sensitive areas such as hedge edges and ditches to preserve species and their habitats. The work schedule also took into account the reproduction periods of some of them. The earthworks were thus interrupted between March and August 2022. 

The photovoltaic panels are also fixed on stringers, concrete structures used as a foundation system. An above-ground alternative to traditional buried foundations, which preserves the earth layer.​ 

The project was completed in April 2023 with the implementation of landscaping measures aimed at integrating this power plant into an urban environment. The panels are matte in color and the frames are black. Plantations were installed around the power plant and an educational path was created to run along the fence. These measures guarantee ecological continuity by densifying the existing vegetation of the Thouet green belt. Passages for small wildlife have also been provided on the fence and scree blocks for reptiles have been installed in the enclosure.

EDF Renewables - Japan



Since 2022, EDF Renewables has been developing offshore wind projects in Japan. 

The objective: to contribute to the country's energy transition.