Developing Renewal Energy
In the renewable energy sector, at the end of 2011 GDF SUEZ had a total global capacity of 16,650 MWeg.
- With 10,744 MW, the Group is the leading hydroelectricity operator in France and Brazil, where it develops large-scale projects.
- In biomass and biogas, GDF SUEZ also has 963 MW production capacity in Europe, where it is the leading operator, and in the United States and in South America.
- Wind power is a fast-growing line with a capacity of 2,205 MW, making the Group the leading operator in the French and Belgian markets and number two in Portugal. It is also running several projects in Europe, Canada, Latin America and Morocco.
- GDF SUEZ is involved in the solar power market through production of photovoltaic cells and modules in France and Belgium, and investments in several dozen MW in France and Portugal.
France. GDF SUEZ, through its subsidiaries Maïa Eolis, La Compagnie du Vent, Erelia, CN’AIR and Eole Generation, commissioned 320 MW of wind power capacity in 2010. At the end of 2011 GDF SUEZ had 1,020 MW of installed capacity in onshore wind farms, making it the leader in France in wind power with 16% of the market.
Among the farms commissioned in 2010, were two of the largest in France: the Hauts Pays farm (78 MW in Upper Marne) which received the “Chantier Bleu” label recognizing sites that meet high quality, safety and environmental standards, as well as the Germinon farm (75 MW in the Marne).
GDF SUEZ is continuing its wind power development with 150 MW under construction in 2011.
Pologne. In 2010, GDF SUEZ and Polish Energy Partners signed an agreement to purchase the Pagow wind farm in the southwest of the country. This facility will develop a capacity of 51 MW. Its construction began in 2011, for commissioning the following year.
Biomass power plants
Belgium. In 2010, Electrabel, a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ, and Ackermans & van Haaren jointly began converting the Belgian power plant at Rodenhuize 4 (originally fuelled by blast furnace gas, then heating oil, then coal) into a plant entirely fuelled by biomass with a capacity of 180 MW. The biomass it uses will consist mainly of wood pellets supplied by certified producers who practice sustainable forestry. The Rodenhuize plant will eventually supply enough power to cover the annual needs of 320,000 homes.
France. In late 2009, Michelin signed a supply and operating contract with Cofely for its Cholet site in France. The 15-year agreement should reduce the site’s environmental impact and energy bill. As part of this, Cofely is committed to:
- modernizing the existing “trigeneration” facility,
- installing a 10 MW biomass boiler,
- refurbishing the compressed air production plant,
- supervising all site fluids.
The biomass boiler, which came into service in September 2010, will allow CO2 emissions to be reduced by more than 12,000 metric tons a year.
Brazil. In 2010, the Group commissioned the Sao Salvador hydroelectric plant, and continued construction work on the Jirau (3,450 MW) and Estreito (1,080 MW) plants. In 2011, the capacity of the Jirau project was increased to 3,750 MW by additional turbines.
Hydro power represents 14% of the Group’s energy mix and 78% of its renewable energy. Using this type of energy significantly contributes to the Group’s efforts to limit the impact of its activities on climate change.
France. Under a public-private partnership signed with SyDEV (Syndicat Départemental d’Energie et d’Equipement de la Vendée), Ineo will ensure the development, design, financing, construction and maintenance for a 20-year period of four ground-based solar power facilities in the communities of Avrillé, Givrand, La Roche-sur-Yon and Talmont-Saint-Hilaire.
This public-private partnership, the only one in France, will allow the Vendée Electricity Board, starting in October 2012, to produce the equivalent of 16 GWh per year, enough to power 5,500 homes. Annual CO2 emissions will be reduced by 4,600 metric tons. The land-based solar farms will cover approximately 20 hectares, half of which will be used to install 64,000 solar panels. The design of the four farms required implementing innovative solutions adapted to the specific constraints of landfill sites and special attention was paid to protecting local fauna, especially in the nesting grounds at Milan Noir.
Portugal. Through its local subsidiary Generg, GDF SUEZ is involved in two solar power projects with a total capacity of 18 MW. The first, at Ferreira do Alentejo (12 MW) involved installing a second solar facility, the largest in the country. Commissioned in March 2009, the facility can produce 21 GWh on an annual basis and supply power for 9,000 residents. The second project, at Porteirinhos, is a 6 MW photovoltaic facility, currently under construction.
GDF SUEZ partnered with the Supreme Energy company in Indonesia to carry out two projects, to conduct a feasibility and operating study of geothermal resources in the south of the island of Sumatra. The preliminary results of the studies indicate that each project could generate 220 MW of power.