New tool to increase social acceptance of solar parks


From pv magazine France

French energy provider Volterres, a subsidiary of Lyon-based Sun'R, has developed a traceability tool for hourly electricity purchases that enables final clients to know which portion of the energy they buy comes from a renewable energy facility located in their proximity.

“Based on the blockchain to certify traceability on an hourly basis, the tool reveals in real time the nature of the energy sold to each consumer and which renewable power plants have contributed to this supply,” Volterres project manager Xavier Bottou told pv magazine France.

“In this way, consumers can follow the composition of their electricity supply in complete transparency, which strengthens the links with local renewable energy parks and therefore their social acceptance,” stated Volterres director Alexis Bouanani.

In the Toulouse area, the agglomeration community of Sicoval, a unit of the Saint Gobain group, and local energy cooperative SDEHG have already subscribed to this offer. The latter uses it to supply its network of 100 electric charging stations deployed in the territory. “This example illustrates a very interesting hourly consistency between the production of electricity during solar generation peaks and the consumption of these charging stations. Thus, certain new electricity-consuming uses, such as electric mobility, can offer relevant compatibility with decarbonized and decentralized means of production such as photovoltaics,” Bouanani affirmed.

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Illustration of the temporal consistency between photovoltaic production and electricity consumption
Image: Volterres

According to Volterres, the offer is also attractive in terms of cost. “By talking to small businesses in [the department of] Haute-Garonne, we have seen that, for them, subscribing to a PPA is often extremely long and complicated,” Bouanani added. “We allow them to get electricity from the network at the same price as conventional electricity while being able to guarantee more virtuous sourcing.”

In order to strengthen the acceptance of the energy transition among individuals, Volterres also joined forces in May 2022 with renewable energy developer and producer ERG to offer a green and local electricity supply for residents near the Valley 2 East wind farm, which was inaugurated in 2019 and expanded in 2022.

This partnership allows eligible consumers to have access to energy produced locally, sustainably and at a preferential rate. The first 200 subscribers benefit from a €100 discount during the first year of supply, which means approximately 10% savings on the average annual electricity budget of a household.

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