The 47,000-panel solar power plant with a total capacity of 17 MW is located in the waters of a former mining quarry in Piolnec, in the south of France.

The first floating photovoltaic system financed by crowdfunding was built in France.

France is determined to revitalize its long inactive renewable energy sector and, with new energy targets, auctions and laws, has already started setting excellent records. As for O’MEGA1, the floating photovoltaic plant was inaugurated in Piolnec, in the south of the country.

Built on a former adjoining quarry, the plant consists of 47,000 solar panels with a total power of 17 MW, a figure that makes it not only in the largest floating photovoltaic power plant in the country, but also throughout Europe.

A project by the French developer Akuo Energy, who has been working since 2014 with local mining operators in the construction of O’MEGA, and uses the patented Hydrelio system from Ciel & Terre, a company dedicated since 2011 to the development of floating photovoltaic energy . This system consists of modular “lego” type floats mounted in rows, in recyclable HDPE and capable of withstanding winds of up to 210 km / hour.

In full operation, this floating solar power plant will produce enough energy to meet the energy needs of 4,373 families, thus saving at least 1,093 tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere per year.

But the most interesting aspect of O’MEGA1 is not its record size or its technical characteristics, but its financial aspect. The works, in fact, were partially financed by crowdfunding: small contributions from citizens interested in the project, who could contribute by integrating the investments of Natixis Energéco (the main financier of the plant).

In addition, the municipality of Piolenc has itself chosen to invest in the plant, in a kind of symbiotic relationship between the promoter and the local community which could represent a sustainable economic model to be replicated in the territory.

Today, in addition to inaugurating the largest floating solar power plant in Europe, we are demonstrating that the fight against climate change requires a collective effort. With my fellow independent producers and supplier of green electricity Plüm, we play a key role in enabling all citizens who opt for green electricity from controlled sources to become real players in the energy transition, thus supporting the development of energies. renewables in our country. It is now up to citizens to choose their own energy mix.

Eric Scotto, president and co-founder of Akuo.

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More information: www.solarpowereurope.org