Until now only open to the largest electricity-consuming companies, the PPA - Power Purchase Agreement - is entering a new era thanks to ENGIE. For the first time ever in France, the PPA is opening up to new BtoB customers of all sizes, such as local authorities and industry players. Here we explain more...
Do you know what a PPA is? A power purchase agreement is an electricity contract whereby the consumer makes a direct, long-term commitment to purchasing energy from a producer. As the energy transition steps up, Green PPAs – which relate to renewable energy production sources – are becoming much more widespread. But, until now, they affected mainly large-volume energy consumers like Microsoft and Orange, with whom we recently signed a 15-year Green PPA, one of the ten largest contracts worldwide in 2021.
To help its customers step up their zero-carbon transition, ENGIE continues to innovate by offering a Green PPA to a much wider audience. “It’s a first in France. Industry players, public and private service sector companies, local authorities, etc. can now benefit from this measure. We are including it in a wider solution designed to reduce our customers’ energy footprint. To achieve this, we help them first consume less and then consume better. That is where a green PPA can really make a difference, by meeting our customers’ needs head on,” said Karine Lebourg, director of decentralised production for ENGIE Solutions.
What is our role? With its expertise across the entire PPA value chain, the Group is able to offer a turnkey solution for green PPA energy supply. It has made long-term commitments to buying green electricity from a solar farm - without government subsidies – and then supplies this energy to its customers, according to the quantity and duration required by each. “We have more and more customers who want to make their energy transition a reality by using renewable energy sources! This measure is a way for us to offer our customers long-term stability in their electricity budgets and societal commitment. The end customer actually has a stake in production: such projects can go ahead because the customer wants to consume greener electricity and is willing to commit for a number of years,” continued Karine Lebourg. This type of PPA enables those projects that are not eligible for French Energy Regulation Commission (CRE) projects to develop renewable energy sources at stable prices, thereby boosting the local economy.
This is exactly the case at our new photovoltaic solar facility in Fanjeaux, in the Aude department. Commissioned in July 2021, the plant can generate 25.2 GWh of electricity a year. Our customers, Océanopolis, ocean discovery center in Brest, and CCI Charente Training campus both benefit from this project. “Océanopolis uses a great deal of energy to keep its pools at the right temperature, and to treat and change the water. ENGIE provided an extremely pertinent solution to help us reduce our environmental impact,” said the aquarium’s administrator Mathieu Jullien. As a bonus, the project provides long-term stability to farmer Gérard Auriol, who has owned the land on which the Fanjeaux solar plant was built for over twenty years. “It provides extra revenue which guarantees the economic viability of my farm and supports the energy transition,” he said.
Awarded an ENGIE 2021 Innovation Prize, the project is symbolic in more than one respect: open to participative funding by Group employees, it has already received €80K of support. We are sure to be hearing much more about this new form of PPA open to a wider audience!