EDF bags PPA for 20 MW solar park from French railway operator


From pv magazine France

EDF Renouvelables, the renewable energy arm of French power utility EDF, will supply SNCF Energie, a unit of SNCF Voyageurs that is itself part of French railway operator SNCF, with the electricity produced by a 20 MW photovoltaic plant located in the municipalities of Lachapelle-Auzac and Souillac, in the Lot department, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Construction of the solar power plant will begin this year, with commissioning scheduled for 2023, specified a joint statement from the two companies.

The plant's annual production is expected to amount to 25 GWh, which corresponds to about half of the electricity consumption required for the movement of TGVs between Paris and Lille each year, EDF said.

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SNCF Voyageurs said the project is in line with its ambition to reach 40% to 50% of renewable energy in its mix of electricity consumption for train traction by 2025. To achieve this, SNCF Energie is engaged in negotiations with various developers and producers of renewable energy. The objective is to develop PPAs covering up to 20% of electricity consumption for train traction.

EDF said the 20 MW solar plant will contribute to its solar plan, which aims to make the group one of the solar leaders in France, with a target of 30% market share by 2035. “We are very happy to sign, with the SNCF group, our first corporate PPA in France for a new asset,” the company's CEO, Jean-Bernard Lévy, said. “This success once again demonstrates our ability to offer competitive and innovative solutions to our customers in terms of [the] energy transition.” The project is in line with the CAP 2030 strategy, which aims to more than double the renewable capacity of the EDF group, from 28 GW to 60 GW, between 2015 and 2030.

“This signature by SNCF Energie is part of the desire of the entire SNCF group and the railway workers to make the train the ultimate sustainable mobility solution,” Jean-Pierre Farandou, CEO of the SNCF group stated. “We are proud to contribute, through this contract signed with the EDF group, to the creation of additional solar photovoltaic capacities in France, which will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in France and in Europe.”

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