It will be the largest solar farm in Ile-de-France.
In a few months, 58,000 photovoltaic panels will be installed on 23 hectares at a place called the “Friche des Arrachis”, in Marcoussis (Essonne).
Located along the N 104, the A10 motorway and the TGV Atlantique tracks, this project is the subject of a crowdfunding campaign until May 13.
Co-developed by Engie Green and Sigeif (Intercommunal Syndicate for Gas and Electricity in Ile-de-France), this solar farm should make it possible to inject approximately 22,000,000 kWh into the national grid each year.
This is the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of nearly 10,000 people.
Its commissioning is scheduled for September 2021, for an operating period of forty years.
A land abandoned for almost 20 years
“Obviously, there is more sun in Montpellier than in Marcoussis”, remains lucid Olivier Thomas (DVG), the mayor, anticipating the reaction of some who might be surprised to see such a project born in Ile-de- France.
“But given the space available to us, this project seemed opportune to us,” he assures us.
This will allow us to produce more green electricity than the population of our municipality (Editor's note: around 8,100 inhabitants) consumes.
However, the energy generated will not be dedicated to the inhabitants of the town or Essonne, but to the whole of France.
Solar energy: a start-up offers to rent photovoltaic panels
This project was born four years ago, when the municipality began to reflect on the future of this communal land.
Covering a total area of nearly 50 hectares, it received embankments during construction work on the Atlantic high-speed line (LGV), and in particular the Villejust tunnel.
Since the 2000s, it had been fallow.
"An activity zone dedicated to the environment has for a time been planned on this plot," recalls the mayor.
But we didn't like it completely, mainly for access reasons.
We then approached Sigeif to set up this project.
It's a real hurdle race when you want to make clean and sustainable energy in Ile-de-France, especially because of the issue of sunshine.
But we managed to go through all the stages.
Raise more than a million euros thanks to crowdfunding
The solar farm is thus the winner of the national call for tenders of the Energy Regulatory Commission, which aims to support the development of renewable energies on French territory.
It is in this context that crowdfunding is set up.
First reserved for residents of Marcoussis, it is extended from March 15 to residents of the Paris-Saclay agglomeration.
Finally, from March 28, it will be open to the departments of Essonne, Loiret, Eure-et-Loir, Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Hauts-de-Seine and Val -de-Marne.
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The objective: to raise 1.25 million euros for a global project estimated at 18.3 million euros.
A week after its launch, nearly 200,000 euros have already been collected, funded by 70 residents of Marcoussis.
Seine-et-Marne: a power plant with 44,000 solar panels on a former embankment
“Thanks to these panels, we will be able to avoid releasing 9,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year,” announces Frédéric Thérond, responsible for the development of solar power plants for Engie Green.
We will pay off our carbon debt in less than three years.
Once the activity is stopped, the photovoltaic panels will be recycled in the same way as all household appliances.
A rate of return of 4.5%
On the investor side, we are seduced by the ecological aspect but also the financial aspect, the rate of return being 4.5%.
"There will be no quarterly or annual payment of interest," warns Julien Hostache, CEO and co-founder of Enerfip, the crowdfunding platform dedicated to the energy transition which serves as an intermediary.
The money invested is blocked for four years.
It is at the end of this period that investors will receive their gain and 30% of this amount will be taxable.
Afterwards, it must be taken into consideration that there is always a risk of loss of capital.
But the actors who carry the project are solid.
In Essonne, another project benefited from crowdfunding.
A large photovoltaic park on shaded areas has emerged in the parking lot of the company TEA, specializing in automotive logistics, located in the Ciroliers business area in Fleury-Mérogis.
Over 8 ha, more than 27,000 panels capture solar energy to produce electricity.