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ENGIE x Fraîcheur de Paris


What carbon-free solution can we offer for the Paris district cooling system?

By ENGIE - 14 March 2022 - 11:11

In April 2022, the company Fraîcheur de Paris has taken over from Climespace as operator of the City of Paris district cooling system for a period of 20 years. And added into the bargain, an extension of the network to cover all the capital's arrondissements by the end of the concession, cooling an additional 2,300 buildings, including schools, care homes and hospitals run by the City of Paris. This ambitious development is supported by the City of Paris, motivated by its firm commitment to adopt efficient tools to fight and adapt to climate change.


First, a glance back in time... In 1991, the City of Paris awarded CLIMESPACE, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ENGIE, a 20-year contract to operate and develop its cooling system. Today, the ten generation plants and four energy storage sites supply over 700 customers and cool some six million square metres. The cooling network has been running on 100% renewable electricity since 2013. As a carbon-neutral system, the network is helping the City of Paris achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.


The ENGIE solution: developing a more efficient and sustainable cooling system


Tripling the length of the network

In April, a new structure has taken over management of the network for a period of 20 years. The company, Fraîcheur de Paris, is 85% owned by ENGIE and 15% owned by RATP. As operator, it will be responsible for producing, storing, transport and distributing the city's cooling energy. And it has an ambitious plan: by the end of the contract, in 2042, the network will cover all the capital's arrondissements. It will in fact triple in length, with an additional 158 kilometres, 20 new production plants and ten new storage facilities, to ultimately supply over 3,000 users. The previous district cooling system primarily covers service-sector buildings. In the future, the new network will extend to an additional 300 such buildings, including hospitals, childcare centres, retirement and care homes, etc.


A firm environmentally-responsible approach

Fraîcheur de Paris plans to help the City of Paris achieve its target to be carbon neutral by 2050. The new network is designed to be more efficient and more sustainable. It will run off 100% renewable electricity generated in France, almost 70% of which will come from four new dedicated solar farms. The "free cooling" technique - using cooling energy from the water in the river Seine during winter - will also help improve efficiency.

Centralised management of the network will result in a more resilient and efficient service – about 20% more efficient than a traditional, individual air conditioning system – and far better management of water.

Furthermore, 5,000 m2 of urban areas (production plants and streets during major construction work) will become green spaces, to help cool the city in other ways.

The large-scale project run by ENGIE and RATP to develop the City of Paris cooling system will enable 300,000 tonnes de CO2 to be avoided over the entire duration of the concession and 130,000 m3 of water to be saved each year.


The project in figures:

  • 20 years, the duration of the concession awarded to Fraîcheur de Paris by the City of Paris
  • 158 additional kilometres of network built by 2042.
  • 300,000 tonnes of CO2 avoided over the entire duration of the concession and annual savings of 130,000 m3 of water.
  • 5,000 m2 of urban spaces planted.



"We are very proud that the City of Paris has once again entrusted us with this major contract. This is also a recognition of the expertise developed by ENGIE’s teams over the past 30 years, our commitment working alongside cities in the ecological transition and our ambition to develop decentralised low-carbon infrastructure."
Catherine MacGregor, ENGIE CEO



"This new contract, which is a major victory for RATP Group and its subsidiary RATP Solutions Ville, shows the value of our global services offer for smart, sustainable cities. Through this contract, we will provide expertise in underground networks for our partner ENGIE."
Catherine Guillouard, CEO of RATP Group