Start of operations at the biomass power plant of Cacao, in French Guiana
Voltalia (Euronext Paris, ISIN code: FR0011995588), an international player in renewable energies, announces that the Cacao biomass plant in French Guiana produced its first kilowatt-hours on December 17, 2020. Thanks to an investment of around €75 million, this biomass power plant produces decarbonated electricity sold at a price below the cost of Guiana's thermal power plants, while contributing to making this Territory autonomous in terms of energy.
“Renewable energies, which already account for 50% of the energy mix of French Guiana, are a key solution to meet the growing demand for energy by local households. In this respect, biomass, which enables Voltalia to supply electricity continuously, is particularly well suited to the Territory, where there is an abundance of residues from forestry activities managed sustainably by the ONF. I would like to thank the teams who have successfully completed this project despite all the constraints due to the sanitary crisis" comments Sebastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia.
The Cacao plant, located in the commune of Roura, was designed and built by Voltalia, which is also providing maintenance services. With an installed capacity of 5.1 megawatts, it benefits from a contract with a guaranteed tariff for a 25-year period. Once the current tests have been completed, the output injected into the public grid will be sold at a price below the cost of existing diesel-powered thermal power plants in French Guiana.
The power plant will have a storage capacity thanks to batteries with a capacity of 550 kW / 250 kWh, enabling the power plant's output to be modulated extremely quickly and helping to stabilize the non-interconnected network of French Guiana. This new battery brings Voltalia's storage capacity to 13.1 megawatts locally, where the Group has the largest storage complex of France1.
Combining renewable energies and circular economy, while keeping the primary forest intact.
The Cacao power plant operates continuously2 from the combustion of locally produced wood waste from logging operations sustainably managed by the National Forestry Office (ONF) and sawmills. By recovering a fraction of the wood abandoned in the forest and replacing diesel-powered solutions, the plant will avoid the emission of 28,500 tons of CO2e per year3. In addition, the ashes resulting from the combustion of this natural wood will be made available to farmers in the area to promote soil improvement.
To optimize Cacao’s maintenance, Voltalia is capitalizing on the know-how developed at its Kourou biomass power plant, which has been in operation since 2009. Cacao also contributes to the creation of 40 direct and indirect jobs and consolidates the activity of local companies in the timber industry.
Voltalia currently has six renewable energy power plants in French Guiana (three solar, two biomass and one hydroelectric) as well as battery storage units with a total installed capacity of 30 megawatts, producing the equivalent of nearly 10%4 of the electricity consumed on the coast of French Guiana.
Next on the agenda: Q4 2020 revenues on January 26, 2021
About Voltalia (www.voltalia.com)
Voltalia is an international player in the renewable energy sector. The Group produces and sells electricity generated from wind, solar, hydraulic, biomass and storage facilities that it owns and operates. Voltalia has generating capacity in operation and under construction of more than 1.3 GW and a portfolio of projects under development representing total capacity of 8.5 GW.
1 Toco storage complex, see press release dated November 16, 2020
2 Cacao's biomass plant is designed for a capacity factor close to 90%
3 These data correspond to the baseline scenario in CO2 equivalent, developed by the independent consultancy firm FRMi hired by Voltalia
4 Source : EDF SEI