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French developer secures PPA for 5 MW agrivoltaic project

From pv magazine France

French renewable energy developer Valorem has secured a power purchase agreement for a 5 MW agrivoltaic project it is developing in the Dordogne department in southwestern France.

Starting from the summer of 2021, the Tour-Blanche solar facility will sell power to the green electricity supplier, Enercoop, over a 30-year period. With a view to integrating local players, Valorem opened up the project capital to Enercoop and local energy company SEM 24 Périgord energies, which acquired to 2% and 37%, respectively. SEM 24 is a semi-public energy company operating in the Dordogne, which invests in renewable energy projects facilitating the energy transition.

Dutch lender Bank Triodos, which focuses on sustainable and ethical banking activities, financed the project through senior bank debt as well as a VAT bridging loan for a total debt amount of €3.5 million.

The project, which is said to offer a second life to land that is not very valuable because of its low agronomic potential, is being developed with the support of the Chamber of Agriculture. It is scheduled to start commercial operations in a few months and has been designed to accommodate sheep grazing. Valorem also signed an agreement on December 18 with a young breeding couple so that they could set up their pastoral activity within the park itself. They will thus benefit from a fenced, secure, shaded and paid area.

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Valorem has already successfully implemented a similar project at the Lassicourt park in Aube, the company said.

Agrivoltaic is seeing strong development in France, especially through the tenders for innovative PV projects. In the latest round, finalized last week, the French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) allocated around 80 MW of agrivoltaics. The Tour-Blanche solar farm, however, is being developed outside of France’s tender scheme for solar.

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Source: pv magazine