After several years of studies and months of work, ENGIE Green has commissioned Île-de-France’s largest solar farm. Based in Marcoussis (Essonne), it will provide electricity to 10,000 people.
The day has come! The inauguration of the Marcoussis solar farm was held on 4 October, and was attended by Barbara Pompili, Minister of the Ecological Transition, and Catherine MacGregor, CEO of ENGIE. The solar power plant is installed on a former wasteland made up of embankments and is equipped with nearly 60,000 solar panels, making it the largest plant of its kind north of the Loire. ENGIE Green was chosen at the end of 2017 by the Marcoussis commune and SIGEIF (energy syndicate in Île-de-France) to carry out this remarkable project. With a total capacity of 20.3 MWp, it allows to produce some 21,629 MWh each year, i.e. the domestic consumption of 10,000 people.
"The Marcoussis solar farm embodies our vision of a regional project, built in close collaboration with local partners and elected officials. The use of crowdfunding has allowed local residents to become players in the energy transition."
Catherine MacGregor, Directrice générale d'ENGIE
The €18.8 million investment required for the project was co-financed through a project company owned by ENGIE (60%), SIGEIF (20%) and the public. What makes this project even more exceptional is that it was supported through a very successful crowdfunding campaign. And what a success it was! Close to €1.4 M was quickly raised among the environmentally-conscious residents of the commune, urban area and department, with contributions ranging between €10 to €5,530. In less than a day, the bonds that were only accessible to the residents of Marcoussis were already gone. The residents have seized the opportunity to take part in this renewable energy project!
Did you know?
90% of a silicon-based solar panel is recycled at the end of its life cycle thanks to a dedicated sector in France.
The plant’s carbon footprint has been calculated and takes into account all the materials and their transport, operation for 35 years, dismantling, etc. Over 35 years, this results in a positive balance, with the carbon debt being repaid after 3 years of operation and the prevention of around 9,000 t of CO2 emissions each year.
96% of the solar park is natural grassland; the equipment leaves a very small footprint!
In parallel, wildlife refuges have been created to prevent the disappearance of certain species from the area, such as the praying mantis, yellowhammer, etc., and the fencing has openings through which animals can circulate. Finally, a grazing project with sheep is planned to help maintain the site.
This exemplary project is proof that the energy transition is gaining traction in the regions.