Hedge planting for community acceptance of agrivoltaics

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From pv magazine France

EHPY, whose 15 operating members are carrying out a cluster of 14 agrivoltaic projects in France, has started planting the first kilometer of hedges around its land, in order to hide future PV plants.

Green Lighthouse Développement (GLHD) aims to integrate 156.6 MW agrivoltaic plants into the landscape by planting 5.8 km of hedges. Residents collectively selected the locations during prior consultation.

Farmers will plant bocage hedges using 14 local species recommended in Burgundy-Franche-Comté. They will arrange them in double rows with tall trees, medium-sized trees, and shrubs, maintaining a size of 3 meters wide and 5 meters high. An interactive map shows the hedge locations with 40 photomontages of the views before and after installation.

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Some developments will be carried out “ahead of phase,” with some hedges growing within three years and fully fulfilling their role as natural cover within five years. The rest of the plantings will take place two years before the agrivoltaic facilities are put into service – a measure known as “pre-greening.” The carbon footprint integrated into the impact study of the agrivoltaic plants estimates that the 5.8 km of planted hedges will allow the sequestration of more than 12 tons of CO2 per year.

In addition, the local authorities indicate that landscape elements can promote the biodiversity of birds, reptiles, and insects, and are conducive to the nesting of certain species.

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