May 27, 2022

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Viticulture: Laurent Gobet reduces his electricity bill thanks to solar



While wine sales are on the rise again, winegrowers are also bearing the full brunt of soaring energy prices . To prepare for it, Laurent Gobet, winegrower in Hurigny (Saône-et-Loire) chose to install 221 photovoltaic panels on his estate in October. These are fixed on the roof of a new building of 900 square meters dedicated to winemaking.

“It’s a global approach,” says the winemaker, who wants to become as independent as possible: “We have the High Environmental Value label and we already collect rainwater. The energy from the solar panels now enables him to cover all his electricity needs, and sometimes even beyond that. “EDF buys part of my electricity, which is then distributed to neighbours. It covers part of my credit and my retirement, which will not be very high with my agricultural income, ”he summarizes. In total, this installation cost him 70,000 euros.

For the installation, it was Didier Jomain, an electrician from the region, who was in charge. He himself is equipped with solar panels on his personal house, so he knows the subject well. “These panels make it possible to cover periods of electricity peaks during the grape harvest in September. This is possible thanks to the perfect insulation of the building, which is made of wood wool, and not glass wool, and the south-facing orientation which allows for maximum light,” he underlines. he.

A solution for the future

To avoid the risk of overheating and fire, the electrician uses an Enphase Energy microinverter system, which converts direct energy from the sun into current. “Instead of connecting the panels to each other, which creates a high electrical voltage on the roof, each panel is connected to a single microinverter. We can monitor the performance of each panel independently and stop some if necessary,” explains Didier Jomain.

A solution that could convince more and more farmers, affected by rising energy prices. On certain crops, such as in Occitania, solar panels will be installed directly above the plantations. In the future, these panels could even be compatible with photosynthesis: a Greek company is currently working on the construction of transparent solar panels that allow light to pass through.