Neoen, one of the leading French players in renewable energies, has launched Europe’s largest photovoltaic farm, located in Cestas.The photovoltaic farm in Cestas has a total peak capacity of 300 MW and can generate enough energy in one year to service the domestic consumption needs of the entire population of Bordeaux. Generating electricity that is sold on at €105 per megawatt hour, the farm at Cestas is very competitive. That apart, its cutting-edge design is in itself the height of innovation: this farm generates three times as much electricity per hectare as most other farms built in France and Europe. It is proof of how photovoltaics can achieve the best possible efficiency in any given area.
Xavier Barbaro, Neoen’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “We are proud to unveil this exceptional project and, as the COP21 gets underway, to be writing a new chapter in the history of renewable energies in France. This farm is a testament to the performance of a French photovoltaics sector that has come together and is booming. Working alongside its industry partners, Neoen, the French leader in independent renewable energies, has shown that France is home to a whole host of expertise and that energy transition can indeed be a byword for economic opportunity both here in France and elsewhere.”
The Eiffage -‐ Schneider Electric -‐ Krinner consortium has designed and built the Cestas plant and is also overseeing the farm’s operations and maintenance needs.Frédéric Carmillet, the CEO of Eiffage Énergie, is keen to stress that “the completion of Europe’s largest photovoltaic power plant in record time only goes to prove the Eiffage group’s ability to mobilise its range of expertise in order to offer integrated solutions and carry out large-scale turnkey energy production projects.”
For his part, Serge Goldenberg, SVP Solar Business at Schneider Electric, adds: “Schneider Electric is proud to have taken part in this major project. With our strong expertise in solar energy & grid connection, we are providing a complete solution for the management, control and supervision of the energy produced in the Cestas plant. Our comprehensive range of services will enable us to guarantee the equipment’s availability rate over a 20-year period. This is where the true asset of choosing our energy management solution for solar power lies: in a standardised and competitive solution that is nevertheless tailored to each individual project.”The photovoltaic farm is directly connected to the RTE network grid, which has been specifically adapted to take the output generated by this site. As such, the local people of France’s Aquitaine region will share the benefits of this renewable energy source with French and European people alike.