By Melissa Prow
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It is a initiative which emanates from the Ariane Group company: Space Campus i Vernon (Eure) could accommodate a solar system.
Together in the municipal council, the elected representatives in Vernon received a new presentation of the project on 1eh July 2022.
A coherent territorial project
A timely project, since the city of Vernon and the Seine Normandie Agglomeration have set themselves the goal of being an area operating 100% with renewable energy by 2040.
In fact, the project is part of the territorial climate energy plan for the Seine Normandie Agglomeration. That alone represents 21% of SNA’s target for solar development. It will also reduce CO2 emissions by 115 tonnes per year.
It is completely consistent with both our city and territory project at the SNA level. It is a real possibility
For the Ariane Group, it is also the guarantee of a reduced energy and operating bill, in order to maintain their competitiveness.
The City of Vernon has therefore decided to support this project and to initiate the procedure for amending the PLU.
Concretely, the installation of this solar energy plant will generate almost 14,000 MWh/year without carbon.
To calm some skeptics, the first deputy mayor reminded that this project would be invisible from the outside. The location is located on an area of 15 hectares north of Ariane Group’s industrial area, fenced and secure.
Upstream, the municipality met with the Ariane group to ensure “that the project fits into the city, preserves the forest edges and does not distort the whole”. For this, Ariane Group had already made the decision to reduce the originally planned plot (read box).
An environmentally friendly project
Juliette Rouilloux-Sicre, first deputy mayor of Vernon, who followed the case, insisted on this point. Ariane Group’s solar energy plant will respect its environment.
Located in the heart of the Vernon forest, the space campus, which houses, among other things, the Ariane Group area, is classified in the UI zone (which includes the activity sectors) of the local urban plan (PLU ) and on a protected green area (EVP). Since the project is classified as such, it will be subject to an environmental assessment with reference to the environmental authority for an opinion.
The power plant will be located within the Ariane Group site, which is fenced and secured, and therefore will not be visible from the road. Part of this protected green space consists of poplar, which will be subject to a clearance permit (over an area of 11 hectares). Finally, a partial conversion of this stand to hardwood will be carried out, a strip of wood will be maintained to ensure an ecological corridor. The latter will ensure the protection of amphibians in particular.
Elected people vote for the project
The launch of the procedure adopted unanimously by the elected officials, the declaration of the project will soon be initiated and will be organized in several phases. An affidavit will be prepared, residents will be heard at a public meeting, and a commissioner-investigator will be appointed.
Finally, the municipality will organize a public consultation of at least 31 days duration in order to possibly make changes to the original plan. When the project is fixed, the matter will be made available at the town hall.
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