Engie today inaugurated a 24 MW solar park in Montane, France. The project features 71,200 PV panels across 50 hectares and will produce 32 million kWh annually, for more than 13,000 people. The park is in the municipalities of Corrèze and Saint-Priest-de-Gimel, on a neglected area of the ZAC Montane. It was developed and built – and will be operated by – ENGIE Green after a €28.6 million ($33.3 million) investment.
The park consists of two solar plants, in Montane Sud and Montane Nord. The projects won successive calls for tenders organized by France’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) in 2015. Construction started in 2016 with commissioning originally planned for the end of 2017. As in all its projects, ENGIE Green relied on local companies – particularly in the electricity, track layout and construction sectors – for development of the plant.
Two other units, with a capacity of approximately 15 MWp, are under development and their construction will be scheduled for after 2020, once authorizations have been obtained.
The estimated fiscal impact of the Montane park will be almost €300,000 per year, to be distributed between the municipalities, the department of Corrèze and the region of New Aquitaine.
The Montane solar plant uses innovative 1-axis trackers, which enable solar panels to be oriented according to the solar path, optimizing the park’s production.
The project also benefits from an experimental battery storage system linked to a tool which controls and monitors the production of power and has the capacity to send instructions for storage or distribution of the resulting electricity. This type of technology makes it possible to offset the intermittency of renewable energies and adapt it to the needs of the electricity grid.