PARIS, FRANCE: Eric Besson, Minister of Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy, officially opens the new photovoltaic facility in Bollène in the presence of Gérard Mestrallet, chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ, and Michel Margnes, chairman of the executive board and chairman and CEO of Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR).
This official opening illustrates the Group's ambitious strategy for developing renewable energy. Totalling 4 MWp of power generation capacity, the Bollène photovoltaic facility has 17600 solar panels and covers a surface of 10 hectares. The renewable energy output corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of close to 1,450 households (excluding heating). This plant was built thanks to the assistance of INEO, subsidiary of GDF SUEZ. INEO supports CNR in the building of its renewable facilities (solar and wind farms).
The Group operates almost 40 MW of photovoltaic power. GDF SUEZ has a production capacity in France of 8,119 MW of installed power, almost 60 percent of which comes from renewable energy sources. With almost 1,000 MW of installed power, GDF SUEZ is France's leading wind power player. Wind power development is one of the Group's key priorities. By 2016, GDF SUEZ aims to produce close to 2,000 MW of onshore wind power in France. The Group has also submitted its tender to the French government tender offer to generate 3,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2015. As France’s second player in hydraulic energy with output of 3,731 MW, GDF SUEZ aims to increase its hydroelectric capacity by at least 1,500 MW by 2016.
At the official opening, Gérard Mestrallet, chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ, commented: "This development illustrates the know-how of CNR and of the GDF SUEZ group across all renewable energy technologies in France. It also demonstrates the continued investment we are making in France to offer our customers and all our stakeholders a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of power."
Eric Besson, Minister of Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy, said: “I’m here to express my support to the development of renewable energy in France, I’m glad that we can now rely on an incentive mechanism, that will foster solar energy development in the long run, thanks to a competitive industry. The new tender offer whose requirements where officially published yesterday will enable to pursue this impetus.”