Cows and culture under solar panels, in Orne, in 2023

Cows and culture under solar panels, in Orne, in 2023

Model of the Ménil-Erreux agrovoltaic farm. ©Guillaume Larchevêque

Plessis Farm v Ménil-Erreux, near Alençon (Orne), will serve as a regional exam for agrivoltaism.

Agrovoltaism? This is an association photovoltaic panels and agricultural activity.

Yet, just wasteland received these panels.

2.50 m from the ground

Farmers weren’t necessarily in favor of it because of that loss of agricultural condition of land after receiving these panels.

In order to maintain this state, the law should see the light of day by the end of the year.

Jérôme Larchevêque, owner of Plessis Farm.

These are his lands and lands his son Williamwhich will therefore serve as an experiment a combination of agriculture and photovoltaic electricity generation.

“There were several possible locations in Orne, but of course ours. the farm is well located! », smiled Jérôme Larchevêque, at the stand dedicated to the presentation of the project, during Fair of all farmersthis weekend in Alençon.

There are not too many trees, not too much shade and it is close to the RD 31 which connects Alençon to L’Aigle and is used by more than 2000 vehicles every day. So the ad will be seen and people will be able to stop and ask.

Jerome Larchevêque.

and plot of 6.5 ha designed to receive these photovoltaic panels will be divided into three control plots : one dedicated breeding with 55 cowsone in culture and others budding.

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Until then, the panels were installed at ground level. On these farmlands, will be raised to 2.50 m “for the lower part”.

Qair's agrovoltaic manager, here alongside Guillaume Larchevêque, during the presentation of the project to elected officials, at the Tous Paysans fair, on Saturday 22 October.
Qair’s agrovoltaic manager, here alongside Guillaume Larchevêque, during the presentation of the project to elected officials, at the Tous Paysans fair, on Saturday 22 October. © L’Orne Hebdo

“A cycle that is as virtuous as possible”

What is interesting here is that we will be experimenting with several different technologies: an east-west orientation, another directly south. We are also high enough to allow livestock to graze without problems and farm machinery to work in both directions, on the ground to minimize operational restrictions.

Philippe Rollet, agricultural manager at Qair, responsible for installing the panels.

These panels, arranged in shadeswill be equipped gutters intended for rainwater recovery will be stored in a bowl at.

It will allow the farmer to irrigate crops that use more, such as corn, if the farmer needs it.

Philippe Rollet, Agricultural Manager.

Company representative The Cairo Company he mentioned “a cycle that is as virtuous as possible”.


The installation of these panels at the Plessis farm in Ménil-Erreux was recorded at the Tous Paysans fair on Saturday 22 October. They should be installed in 2023 for commissioned in September of the same year.

All prefectural permits should be confirmed by the end of the year.

Jerome Larchevêque.

The experiment “is carried out by the Orne Chamber of Agriculture and Inrae (National Research Institute of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, editor’s note) and should last between two and four years “, he concludes.

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