The Moulon de Blé solar power plant, which has a capacity of 11.4 MWp, was inaugurated by EDF Renewables. It is located on a reclaimed colluvium extraction quarry, effectively transforming an industrial area into a renewable energy source.
Covering approximately 9 hectares, this power plant consists of around 21,330 photovoltaic panels and is capable of generating electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of about 7,400 individuals.
The Eyguières community showed strong support for this project, which aimed to promote renewable energy. After obtaining its building permit in 2016, the project won an Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) tender in March 2017, securing a 20-year tariff-protected electricity purchase agreement.
Throughout the project’s development, consultations were conducted to assess landscape and biodiversity concerns, including those of the Alpilles Regional Natural Park. The construction schedule was adjusted to minimize its impact on local flora and fauna. The initiative also includes the creation of habitats for reptiles and amphibians, and plans are in place to revegetate the park’s adjacent embankment to enhance its integration with the landscape during the upcoming autumn season. Environmental monitoring, which began at the start of the project, will continue throughout the park’s 30-year operational period.
The local residents of Bouches-du-Rhône and neighboring areas (Var, Vaucluse, Gard) actively participated in this project through a successful crowdfunding campaign on the WISEED platform in the summer of 2022. A total of 77 private investors contributed 141,500 euros to the campaign.
EDF Renewables currently manages 14 solar power plants in the South Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, along with a 25 MW floating offshore wind pilot project planned off the coast of Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône (Bouches-du-Rhône). Together, these projects have a combined capacity of approximately 124 MW. Therefore, the Moulon de Blé photovoltaic power plant plays a crucial role in supporting the region’s energy transition goals and France’s target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Sofiane BOUKEBBOUS, the Director of the South-East and Overseas zone of EDF Renewables, commented on the project, stating, “With the Moulon de Blé photovoltaic plant, the town of Eyguières, with around 6,800 inhabitants, will produce more electricity than it consumes. The plant contributes to the region’s energy transition, which is necessary to address the challenges of climate change. With this project, we have also repurposed land that had an industrial past, in this case, a quarry.”