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2,000 m² of photovoltaic panels set to cover vineyards in Bordeaux

By Vitisphere March 01, 2022
2,000 m² of photovoltaic panels set to cover vineyards in Bordeaux
The project is partly funded by the New Aquitaine regional council, which intends to ramp up its energy and ecology transition, based on its Neo Terra roadmap. - crédit photo : DR

a Grande Ferrade, in Villenave-d'Ornon on the outskirts of the city of Bordeaux, is an experimental estate belonging to the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae). Ten years ago, a 2,000 m² plot of Merlot was planted there and is due to be covered with photovoltaic panels by 2023. The two-sided swivel panels designed by Ampex will be installed in conjunction with the EDF energy group.

Over a five-year period, the Vitisolar project will demonstrate whether the electricity-producing infrastructure is compatible with growing vines, or not. Researchers from INRAE, the Institute of Vine & Wine Sciences (ISVV), technicians from the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture and the regional federation of agricultural equipment sharing co-operatives will conduct research on biodiversity.

The vines will be shaded or covered in the event of adverse weather or drought. The stakeholders will also analyse vine health, growth, water requirements and the onset of diseases such as downy mildew. “They will also work on panel control algorithms and examine opportunities for harnessing electricity for agricultural uses (robots, electrification of machinery)”, adds EDF in a press release. The group's R&D team will share its experience with the rest of the ‘Vitisolar Club’ on a demonstrator installed in Seine-et-Marne, near Paris. “Continuous engagement with the local community and authorities will complement the monitoring system”, concluded EDF, which aims to become one of the industry’s leading players in France.

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