SPAQuE installs 3,844 solar panels at the SAFEA site in La Louvière


SPAQuE has begun work on its very first solar power plant at the rehabilitated SAFEA site in Houdeng-Goegnies, La Louvière. A total of 3,844 solar panels will be installed on the site’s former dump.


Work on SPAQuE’s first solar power plant has commenced. The panel, covering 2.5 hectares in total, will be located on the former waste dump at the SAFEA site (which SPAQuE rehabilitated between 2005 and 2011). More specifically, they will be installed on the flat section of the containment dome – an area not suitable for other building projects. In total, the project will cost € 2,000,000 inc. VAT.

The first phase of the project is to set up the site infrastructure. SPAQuE has already built a road and dug cable trenches. There are also plans to install a technical container and a high-voltage station. Concrete blocks will then be laid and metal frames installed to support the 3,844 panels.

The solar power plant is expected to be up and running by late July. With nominal power of 1 megawatt-peak (MWp), the plant is expected to produce an estimated 1,047 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year – enough to power around 300 households for an entire year.

The electricity will be sold and fed directly into the ORES grid.

Fencing, alarms and CCTV cameras will also be installed at the site to enhance security and deter intruders.


SAFEA site: history

In 1929, a factory manufacturing nitrogen-based fertiliser was set up on the site. In the 1930s, the SAFEA factory cleaned the gas coming from the coke ovens belonging to the Gustave Boël factories nearby.

Fertiliser production ceased in 1978, signalling the end of most of the activity at the site. Part of the installation was still used to produce oxygen in the fractioning building and for storing gas in the gas-holders. The remainder of the site (western section) was converted into an industrial waste dump. In total, 300,000 m³ of industrial waste was dumped at the site in the 1980s and 1990s.