Savéol new energies

French growers start saving energy with CHP and LED

Michel Le Hir and Cathy Niot are market gardeners in Plabennec (Finistère) and members of French tomato production leader Savéol Cooperative. They called in Eiffage Énergie Systèmes’ services via think-tank Savéol Énergies Nouvelles, in order to control and reduce energy consumption in their greenhouses by making use of renewable energies. Among the various energy solutions it includes the installation of  two energy cogeneration plants CHP and a LEDs on 1.5 hectares. The novelties  were inaugurated in the presence of Finistère Sous-Préfét Yvan Bouchier.

The inauguration of energy advances

Saving heath
According to the team with Eiffage Energie Systems, the economic advantages of energy solutions and new technologies are very good, auguring real production gains thanks to energy savings, faster vegetable growth and improved yield. 

Plabennec market gardens now runs on two high energy performance cogeneration units (4.4 MWe and 3.2 MWe of power) designed by Eiffage Énergie Systèmes’ Energy Production and Heat Department directed by Gilles Marguerat: “These cogeneration plants produce heat at a competitive price since they are backed by a 12-year EDF Obligation to Purchase contract. Both plants are equipped with a CCS (Carbon capture and storage) system providing the plants with a supply of CO2 for photosynthesis”, they say.

The biomass-fired boiler allows them to produce renewable heat seven months a year. Michel shares his heat network with another Savéol farm.

“And we installed screens to save heat,” explains Michel. “We also have a climate computer that regulates the growing conditions and warm water storage to regulate the production and consumption of heat.”

"The use of LEDs should result in a 30% increase in winter output yield on one hand, and on the other, an improvement in product quality enabling compliance with summer product standards. The LED growth lights compensate for a lack of light intensity during the winter days by adjusting the light spectrum to each plant” said Gilles Marguerat. 


Michel Le Hir

About the project
The idea of the project “Savéol new energies” is to bring together farmers and energy specialists to find solutions to the energy transition in greenhouses. Today, the project gathers almost 100 players. Savéol aims to use 100% renewable energy as of 2050. For now, the farmers have developed renewable energy sources for 18%.

Every year, Savéol produces 80,000 tons of tomatoes and 2,200 tons of strawberries.

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