BRACH solar farm
- Social innovation
- Enhancing biodiversity
- Support for local employment
The BRACH Energies photovoltaic park was started in 2009 and commissioned in August 2017. It is located in Medoc in the municipality of Brach, on former forest plots devastated by the 1999 storm. The site has ideal solar potential, receiving 2,250 to 2,500 sunshine hours per year. That corresponds to a horizontal irradiance of approximately 1,350 kWh/m²/year. The location having been identified by VALOREM as favourable, the project was supported by local authorities, the general public and state authorities.
Green energy operator VALOREM has a shareholding in Brach Energies, owner of the Brach PV farm.
1 Ecological continuity, a conscious choice
Producing energy while minimising the ecological impact of a project is VALOREM’S objective.
Various measures have been taken to protect the natural environment:
• Ditches and drainage ditches unchanged,
• An attractive moorland for the False Ringlet butterfly (Coenonympha oedippus) in unshaded areas maintained,
• Natural vegetation (molinia grass moorland) between the panels maintained,
• Wetland functions maintained.
VALREA has insisted that companies adhere to an adapted schedule of works during the breeding and nesting periods. In addition, on-site interventions have followed a strict traffic plan to limit ground impact.
2 Renewable Energies, a source of employment for Médoc
Last September, VALOREM, A.D.E.LE and the Department of Gironde signed the first agreement to apply inclusion clauses to photovoltaic park sites; in this case in Brach and more widely in Médoc. VALOREM and its subsidiary VALREA, experts in the construction of RE parks, have pledged that their subcontractors will set aside a quota of working hours (7% of total hours) for people who are not in employment.
“Thanks to the companies that took part, the inclusion clauses introduced by the Department were a success and can serve as an example not only to other companies, but also to all the departments.”