France simplifies environmental permitting for solar up to 1 MW


From pv magazine France

The French government has published in its Official Journal new provisions to simplify the procedure for the environmental approval of PV projects with a capacity of up to 1 MW.

The new decree establishes that PV installations deployed on rooftops or parking areas will no longer be subject to environmental assessment. Furthermore, it states that all PV systems with a capacity of up to 300 kW will be exempted from requiring a preliminary environmental assessment and that installations ranging in size from 300 kW to 1 MW will be subject to environmental assessment on a case-by-case basis criterion.

Prior to these new rules, ground-mounted installations of 250 kW were subject to environmental assessments on a systematic basis, while installations on greenhouses and parking shades with a power equal to or greater than 250 kW were subject to these proceedings on a case-by-case basis.

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According to French solar association Enerplan, these new measures will accelerate solar deployment across the country.

“We hope that these provisions will also help simplify the authorization processes for agrivoltaic projects,” Thomas Domblides, regional solar development manager at BayWa r.e., told pv magazine France. “For example, for an agrivoltaic project replacing agricultural tunnels or on an anthropized area, an environmental impact study had to be systematically carried out for any project of more than 250 kWp, even when there was no biodiversity.”

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