The largest photovoltaic farm in Île-de-France was inaugurated on 4 October 2021 by Catherine MacGregor, Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE, Jean-Jacques Guillet, chairman of SIGEIF, and Olivier Thomas, mayor of Marcoussis and departmental councillor. With a power of 20.3 MWp over an area of 23 hectares, its production is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of a town of 10,000 people.
This emblematic project, winner of the call for tenders launched by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, was jointly built by SIGEIF, the town of Marcoussis (in the southern suburbs of Paris) and ENGIE to satisfy the energy transition challenges associated with the local generation of renewable electricity. This contributes to less energy dependence in the Île-de-France region and greening of the electrical grids.
The facility is located on land covered with backfill from construction work on the LGV Atlantique high-speed rail line. This photovoltaic facility gives a second life to this site, where biodiversity has been preserved with the creation of refuges, installation of wildlife-friendly fencing, increased wooded areas, etc.
The local population has been fully involved in the development of this solar farm. The citizen crowdfunding campaign was a great success, raising nearly €1.4m in less than six weeks from the people of Marcoussis, Essonne and neighbouring departments.
ENGIE CEO Catherine MacGregor said: “ENGIE, the leading developer of renewable energy in France with 75% renewables in its energy mix, is the leader in solar power in France, with the 1.3 GW that we are building and operating today. The inauguration of the Marcoussis solar farm is a great success which embodies our vision of a regional project, built in close collaboration with local partners and elected officials, whom I would like to thank for their trust. The use of crowdfunding has fostered community involvement in this project and allowed local residents to become players in the energy transition.”
In France, ENGIE has a presence in all renewable technologies, with an installed capacity of 7.9 GW (of which 1.3 GW is solar, 2.7 GW wind and 3.9 GW hydropower) and thus promotes a balanced energy mix through complementary sectors that make the most of local resources: photovoltaic solar, onshore wind, hydropower and biogas.
Jean-Jacques Guillet, chairman of SIGEIF, added: “With the Marcoussis photovoltaic solar farm, SIGEIF further establishes its position as a key player in renewable energies in Île-de-France, demonstrating the relevance and effectiveness of energy unions in supporting energy transition projects.”
Olivier Thomas, mayor of Marcoussis, is delighted: “This state-of-the-art photovoltaic farm won us over because of its sustainable nature, making it possible to produce renewable and local energy for consumption close to the site. We are also delighted that residents of the region could be involved, through the record crowdfunding campaign. We are particularly proud to work alongside these players for this emblematic and thus exceptional project.”