Veolia has revealed plans to install solar panels on restored landfill sites in France.
The French environmental services provider is set to develop more than 40 solar projects on selected non-hazardous restored landfills, for an overall capacity of 300 MW of renewable energy. The PV projects will cover an area of around 400 hectares and provide enough energy for the consumption of 130,000 inhabitants.
According to Veolia, the first plants will be operational by 2027.
The company is simultaneously pursuing feasibility assessments for solar power plants on its hazardous waste landfill sites as well as on the sites it manages on behalf of its industrial clients. In all, more than 400 MW of solar PV could potentially be installed across these locations.
“This solar energy program is being carried out amid a significant land shortage, which remains a major challenge for the expansion of solar projects in France,” said Veolia.
The company said the limited availability of suitable land for solar, combined with the complexity of permitting process, creates major obstacles for the clean energy rollout in the country.
“For several months, we have been screening all our sites in order to use every appropriate space to maximize energy production,” said Veolia CEO Estelle Brachlianoff. “From now on, our landfills, most of which already produce biogas or biomethane, will also be able to produce photovoltaic energy.”
Brachlianoff said Veolia is aiming for more than 40 PV projects within the next three to four years.
“We could go faster with the removal of administrative hurdles and the simplification of procedures,” she said. “Faced with the challenges of energy sovereignty and decarbonization, these delays need to be cut in half.”
Figures from French grid operator Enedis indicate that France’s solar market grew by around 30% last year, hitting 3.15 GW of new PV installations.
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