This Wednesday August 28, Jean-Luc Moudenc, Mayor of Toulouse and Chairman of Toulouse Metropole, Stéphanie Andrieu, CEO of Urbasolar, Arnaud Mine, Chairman of Urbasolar, Christian Poncet, Chairman of the Toulouse Municipal Electricity Authority (RME), Thierry Cotelle, Chairman of the Regional Energy & Climate Agency (AREC), Benjamin Toullec, Chairman of Citoy’enR, in the presence of the Urbasolar team and numerous elected representatives, officially launched the start of the Oncopole solar energy farm project by installing the first photovoltaic panel.
With an output of 15 MWc and covering an area of 25 hectares, this solar energy farm will produce 19,350 MWh each year, supplying the needs of 4,100 homes. It has numerous features which make this project unique in France.
Installed in the grounds of the former “AZF” factory which suffered a dramatic explosion in 2001, this solar farm required an innovative design and the use of innovative installation processes. It has allowed a site which was heavily polluted to be re-purposed and brought back into use thanks to an emblematic environmental project.
The 1st large solar farm located in an urban environment next to the Marchand Hospital, this project has been designed as Land Art and validated by ANABF (the French architects’ association). It incorporates a pixelated image which can be seen from the air, created using colored panels inserted between the photovoltaic modules. This image will appear different depending on the angle it is viewed from, e.g. from Blagnac Airport or from the forthcoming cable-car over the river Garonne.
This unique initiative is testament to the commitment shown by Toulouse Metropole to renewable energy and fits fully into its regional Climate Air & Energy Plan. This plan includes the creation of 80 specific projects that will provide a local response to the environmental and economic challenges posed by climate change. For the first time, a project of this size has been the subject of majority investment by local organizations including Toulouse Metropole, Toulouse Municipal Electricity Authority and Regional Energy & Climate Agency for the Occitan Region.
This project is also the opportunity for the residents of Toulouse to invest in the solar farm through the SCIC Citoyen’R scheme.
Designed, constructed and operated by Urbasolar, the Oncopole solar energy farm represents a top-class environmental project and a successful collaboration between local organizations and a specialist private operator. It also brings together numerous innovations of a technical, artistic and financial nature.
Urbasolar has also confirmed its place as market leader in solar technology in France by being awarded 1st place in the CRE call for tenders when the results were published on August 5 this year, with a 17% share of the market and having produced 145 MW of power. Urbasolar therefore has a portfolio of over 500 MW scheduled with the CRE energy authority to be installed in France over the coming 24 months.