Greenhouse growers are renowned for harnessing the sun's power to get a bumper crop. At the same time, with the exceptional climatic hazards of recent years and the current energy crisis going on, some growers want to fully exploit the sun and protect their crops. That is why, in June 2022, Les Vergers de la Teyssonne commissioned greenhouse builder Richel to construct a 3.5-ha photovoltaic greenhouse.
"For Richel Group, it's very important to support our customers in their eco-responsible approach and to offer them solutions to control their expenses and optimize their energy performance," says Malick Touré from Richel. The facility is operated by the association of the farmer Jerome D., and the photovoltaic part is managed by Rampa Energies.
"Rampa Energies contributed to the development of the project," says Malick. "Not only that, but they helped with the project management of the site, the installation, and the electrical connection of the photovoltaic solar equipment. They also manage the maintenance and operation of the solar power plant."
The installed photovoltaic solar power plant produces 3.6 MWp, with an annual energy production capable of meeting the consumption demand of around 2,500 for 20 years. In total, there are 11,500 panels.
Since 1981, Les Vergers de la Teyssonne has been producing apricots, nectarines, cherries, and kiwi. Now, with the new photovoltaic installation, the grower Jerome will appreciate certain benefits. "The panels protect the crops from the weather and will allow the grower to save up to 30% on fertilizers and 20% on irrigation," Malick points out.
The solar energy produced allows for financing the photovoltaic greenhouse. "The resale of solar electricity for 30 years makes it possible to finance the photovoltaic greenhouse for an ROI of approximately 14 years."
The photovoltaic greenhouse was designed, supplied, and built by Richel Group following particularly strict standards, Malick says. "We had to design the greenhouse according to the NF EN 13031-1 standard and carefully studied it to ensure that it could accommodate the solar panels and ensure light transmission inside the greenhouse. This also helped with optimizing the production of electricity on-site. Additionally, we have also installed ventilation solutions on the roof and the façade to provide better airflow to the crop. All of this had to be done in accordance with very strict standards and a specification dictated by our customer.
"Richel Group also aims to become a major player in France and internationally for the supply of renewable energy solutions for the agricultural sector."