Akuo plans France’s largest floating solar plant


French independent power producer Akuo Energy is planning to deploy a 17 MW floating PV power plant near Piolenc, in the Vaucluse department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southern France.

The company says once completed, the O’MEGA 1 project will be the largest floating PV facility in France and Europe, and said it will use the Hydrelio technology of French floating PV specialist Ciel&Terre, and will be on a water surface at a former quarry.

The project, which will be part-financed through crowdfunding – ensuring an additional public financial incentive – is being developed under the framework of France’s tender scheme for large-scale solar.

Investment bank Natixis' renewable energy financing subsidiary, Natixis Energeco, has agreed to part-finance the project with around €12 million ($14m), Akuo said.

“O’MEGA 1 is, for Akuo Energy the achievement of several milestones: France’s first large-scale floating solar project; the first time that the company [has used] crowdfunding; and the first bank financing for a floating project”, said the IPP's President and co-founder Eric Scotto.

Akuo has a renewables asset portfolio of around 1 GW. In the solar business, it has around 239 MW of projects in operation, under construction or with financing. Most of its projects are in France, although its largest PV facility is the 50 MW Kita plant in Mali.

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