Carcassonne Hospital close to achieving energy self-sufficiency!

1,500 parking spaces covered by solar canopies which are producing electricity locally for use by the hospital site.

An energy transition project

Set up by SYADEN (Aude Regional Energy and Digital Group) and the Carcassone Hospital Center, this project is proof of the commitment shown by both organizations to producing electricity from renewable energy sources. It was the Urbasolar group which won the tender competition in 2017 to develop, build and now operate the parking canopies currently installed at the site.

In operation now since the start of 2021 and with an output of 4 MWp, the canopies produce 5,000 MWh of low-carbon electricity annually, the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 1,100 homes.

Experimenting with a shortened supply chain

The parking canopies at the Carcassonne Hospital Center are part of a wider program which SYADEN is committed to: shortening the energy supply chain. A little like in the food production industry, the idea is to reduce to a minimum the number of intermediaries involved between the producer and the end consumer.

A facility producing 250 kW for direct self-consumption was built to meet the needs of the Hospital Center in addition to the 4 MWp canopy plant, from which the electricity produced is fed into the electricity grid using a special model. The aim is to experiment with using the energy produced to benefit users in the Aude region via a “shortened energy supply chain”.  This goal has now been reached: the Hospital Center is almost completely self-sufficient in energy needs, at least during the day when the sun is shining.

This experiment, conducted by SYADEN with their partner Selfee, opens the way for interesting opportunities in terms of procuring local energy supplies.

A Public-Private partnership

Another specificity of this project is the way in which it is being financed.

For the first time in this region, a public authority has invested in a renewable solar energy production project. SYADEN, in association with Urbasolar, provided capital for the company “HOPITAL SYADEN ENR” which is sponsoring the project (a merger between SYADEN’s multi-purpose business SEM ELO and Urbasolar).

Furthermore, this project attracted crowdfunding from employees of the Hospital Center and citizens of the Aude region, who contributed to the construction of the plant against a return on their investment.

This project, which is remarkable for numerous reasons, whether these be technical, environmental or societal, is proof of our ability to produce low-carbon electricity locally and also to achieve the ambitious carbon-neutral targets set by the European Union.

Parking Canopies – CH Carcassonne – Photo credit: Urbasolar – M.Colin