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ENERGY OBSERVER returns Saint Malo: a focus on green energy, Brittany and ENGIE

Following an Mediterranean odyssey interrupted by stopovers in 17 ports of call, Energy Observer has berthed in St Malo for wintering, taking a well-earned rest before setting off again to continue its world tour in Northern Europe in the spring. This stop in its home port gives us an opportunity to take another look at the challenge presented by renewable energies in Brittany and to highlight some of the flagship solutions developed by ENGIE in the region.

In a region that can cover only 9.5% of its energy needs with its own production, the Breton peninsula is at real risk of power blackouts, particularly in the northwestern part of the territory. To cope with this threat, the Region of Brittany has three key ambitions in terms of energy: securing supply, reducing demand for power and making massive use of renewable energies.

ENGIE is already helping Brittany meet its energy challenges, particularly with the production of renewable energies thanks to 86 wind turbines, 21 biomass boilers, bio-methanation projects and hydrogen filling stations, to which it will soon be adding a photovoltaic power plant.

But more is to come: the Region has set itself new challenges in the realms of renewable marine energies, taking advantage of its marine potential (one third of coasts in mainland France are in Brittany), and of mobility, in a region where vehicles are already powered by biogas and, in some cases, hydrogen.

Key figures: Brittany

  • 4 departments
  • 3.3 millions inhabitants
  • 2 metropolises: Rennes (450,000 inh.) and Brest (210,000 inh.)

Key figures: ENGIE

  • 2,250 employees
  • 2,320 partner SMEs
  • €63.5 m of sales in 2017
  • 7 Group entities present: ENGIE Axima, ENGIE Ineo, ENGIE Cofely, ENGIE Green, ENGIE Home Service, GNVert, ENGIE Biogaz, Endel.

Morbihan Energies or hydrogen mobility

Morbihan Energies, the Region of Brittany and the financer Caisse des Dépôts have joined forces with ENGIE Cofely for the development of renewable hydrogen in the west of the region. The joint venture company will ensure the development of an initial distribution infrastructure, production of renewable hydrogen and provide hydrogen-powered vehicles for renting in the Morbihan department.

A pioneering player in hydrogen mobility, Morbihan Energies installed its first hydrogen filling station in its own parking lot last year, allowing the first hydrogen vehicle in Brittany acquired by the authority to be refueled. The hydrogen is produced using surplus the green electricity generated by its Kergrid site in Vannes. It is the first hydrogen filling station in Brittany. A new form of mobility is developing; more efficient, more economical and more sustainable, it is meeting the region’s challenges of tomorrow.

Sablière de la Prée, one of the largest solar parks in Brittany

ENGIE is a major historical player in onshore wind generation (accounting for 20% of production in Brittany) and it is now showing a keen interest in photovoltaic power in Brittany.

As part of the fourth call for solar tenders organized by the CRE (the French energy regulatory commission), ENGIE won 25 photovoltaic projects in France for roughly 230 MW, through its ENGIE Green, Langa and Compagnie Nationale du Rhône subsidiaries. One of these projects is the largest solar power plant in Brittany, Sablière de la Prée, in

Morbihan, which will generate power of 17.5 MWp, equivalent to the consumption of 9,000 people.

The acquisitions of Langa (a significant player in the photovoltaic sector in Brittany, with recognized know-how in roofs and ground-based plants) and of Saméole (both of them based in the Rennes Métropole area) confirm the Group’s commitment to the development of renewable energies in Brittany.

Solar leader in France with 1,000 MW of installed capacity, ENGIE is also the no. 1 player in terrestrial wind power in France with more than 1,800 MW of installed capacity. The Group is aiming to achieve 2.2 GW of installed solar capacity and 3 GW of installed wind capacity in France by 2021.

Biogas, another means of producing green energy

The Group is committed to several projects and initiatives for developing biogas in Brittany.

In all, nine new filling stations will be opened in Brittany in the next three years, under the auspices of Brittany’s departmental energy authorities, for an estimated investment budget of between €12 and €15 million in total. One of them is planned for the town of Liffré, where ENGIE Biogaz already operates an agricultural methanizer producing biomethane. There are also other initiatives in Brittany led by local authorities and developed by ENGIE – in Quimper buses run on green NGV, while garbage trucks in Rennes are also powered by NGV.

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