France’s second largest PV plant comes online


From pv magazine France

The French PV project developer TSE and the German developer Enerparc have officially inaugurated France's second-largest PV plant, in Marville, in the Meuse department.

Built on 155 hectares on a former NATO military airport used by the Canadian Air Force from 1955 to 1967, and bought in 2006 by the Communauté de communes du Pays de Montmédy, the facility relies on 364,000 PV modules, some of which are bifacial, the company said. With a total installed capacity of 152 MW, it is able to generate around 160 GWh/year, which is the equivalent of 90% of the annual consumption of the city of Verdun, which is located nearby.

The commissioning took place gradually: TSE's western half of the plant was commissioned in May 2021 and Enerparc's eastern half was commissioned at the beginning of September 2021.

TSE's investment in the project amounted to €65 million in financing, including €57 million of debt and the rest financed in equity by shareholders. “The plant will allow a very high production of electricity, even when there is the slightest sunshine,” said Pierre-Yves Lambert, CEO of TSE. “This is a successful conversion that takes into account existing activities such as the aerodrome, biodiversity and agricultural activity.”

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Over a period of 30 years, the two partners will conduct a program for the preservation and redeployment of biodiversity through three types of action: the deartificialisation of soils, the restoration of a mosaic of grasslands, and the limitation of invasive plant species. All of these actions, which are voluntary measures not resulting from any obligation, were defined in partnership with CDC Biodiversité, a subsidiary of French financial institution Caisse des Dépôts.

In addition, they have given the management of the grassy areas to a young, local, organic sheep farmer who will provide eco-grazing with a herd of around 1,000 sheep.

France's largest solar power plant is currently the 300 MW Cestas project. Built by French renewable energy developer Neoen in 2015, the facility is located in the homonymous municipality in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, in southwestern France.

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