BayWa r.e. is transforming the former military base of La Martinerie into a photovoltaic park in Deols, near Châteauroux, in the Indre region (36). However, during the preliminary clearance of the site, the deminers found a 220 kg bomb dating from the Second World War. It will be neutralized Thursday morning by the deminers of the civil security. The explosive device, likely to be still operational, was discovered during the pyrotechnical diagnosis carried out by the company Deminetec.
A military base transformed into a solar park
BayWa r.e. is commissioning its first 30 MWp photovoltaic park on 35 hectares of the former Martinerie air base near Châteauroux in 2021. In fact, the air base ceased operations in 2012. Preparatory work began in the fall for the construction of a second 40 MWp park on 36 hectares, authorized in October 2021 by the Indre prefecture. It is scheduled to be commissioned in 2024. In all, more than 150,000 photovoltaic panels on more than 70 hectares will supply the Martinerie with the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 80% of the inhabitants of Châteauroux.
Photovoltaic technology allows the removal of explosive devices
The military past of the land requires a pyrotechnic cleanup before any work can begin. This step also provides an opportunity to clean up the site. The shells and materials, buried in the ground for several decades, are then put in security for the time of the intervention of the demining services.
During the pyrotechnical diagnosis carried out by the company Deminetec, a 220 kg bomb dating from the Second World War was discovered. The bomb, of American origin, is certainly an unexploded ordnance during a bombing of the military base by the Allies in 1944. The Martinerie air base was then under German occupation. The deminers will give priority to defusing the device. If the operation should prove impossible, it will be necessary to detonate the ammunition preventively. A security perimeter of 400 meters has been set up around the site where the device was discovered. The defusing operation will take place on Thursday morning.
A solar park for 22,000 more people
The first solar farm, called Blueberry, has been in operation since February 2021 and supplies the equivalent of 17,000 people with electricity. The second solar farm, Greenberry, will be operational by 2024 and provide electricity for an additional 22,000 people. In total, more than 150,000 photovoltaic panels will occupy more than 70 hectares and provide the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 38,000 people. A partnership with the association Les Amis de la Martinerie is also mentioned, aiming to perpetuate the history of the site by rebuilding American prefabricated barracks.