Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France


From pv magazine International

French cooperative Céléwatt has completed construction on a 250 kW solar park in Carayac, a commune in the Lot department in southwestern France.

The ground-mounted array was built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood, that was not processed in a sawmill. To optimize the mechanical characteristics of the rough wood and to avoid any discontinuity in the fibers, 600 oaks were cut, out of the growing season.

A first in France and in the world, this mounting structure concept was developed by French engineering company Mécojit. “After the final checks carried out by Mécojit, an Enedis technician made the connection at the end of the morning,” CéléWatt said in a press release. Enedis is France’s grid operator.

Less than 18 months elapsed between the filing of the project approval request and the first kilowatt-hour being produced which, according to Céléwatt, proves the feasibility of community and regional renewable energy. The project was also supported by French energy cooperative Enercoop, which will buy power from the plant at a price of €0.08/kWh.

“Our original idea was to promote local employment and natural resources,” Bertrand Delpeuch, the president of Céléwatt, told pv magazine in November. “As we had no room for maneuver on the origin of our 746 monocrystalline panels, which are delivered to us from China by the company Talesun, we decided to focus on the poles.”

The stability of the panels will be checked every three years with a visual inspection of the resistance of the wood and a general overhaul will be carried out during the ten-year maintenance work. Céléwatt stated that everything was done to maximize the array’s duration over time. “This is a very resistant and endogenous wood species, which will not fear weather fluctuations,” it added.

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