Official opening of the Energy Centre at Fontevraud Abbey

Published on 04 July 2013 - Updated 12 July 2013
Cet article date d'il y a plus de 8 ans

The Energy Centre is the first new building at the Abbey in a century, and the first major achievement of the Fontevraud Sustainable city programme, and as such is a unique experience in France in a historical monument. It will supply the bulk of Fontevraud's energy transition as sought by the Pays de la Loire region and brings the Abbey fully into the 21st century.

Partly buried, the building rose out of the ground, fitting perfectly into the site's architecture and landscape. Its roof garden/terrace provides a choice scenic setting for holding concerts and shows against the backdrop of the abbey church's chevet, which boasts a remarkable architectural style. 

The challenge involves ensuring Fontevraud's energy transition by reducing consumption and contribution to the greenhouse effect, by meeting energy needs with renewable forms of energy and by making use of local resources. 

Since November 2012, all of the buildings at Fontevraud Abbey have been heated with facilities in the energy centre (a wood heater that can meet the needs of 500 homes of 4 people and 92 solar panels), instead of fuel and electric heating. 

Not far from Fontevraud, in Saumur, the École Nationale d’Équitation has fitted thermal and photovoltaic solar panels onto the Cadre Noir Ring and its stables to generate electricity and hot water. 

The wood pellets supplying the heaters are produced in the Saumur region. 

Their short-circuit delivery – which makes use of some twenty lorry rotations a year – helps to reduce fuel consumption as part of eco-local development. 

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© ABFPM / Olivier Sampson

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