SNCF Energie, a unit of French railway group SNCF, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Neoen for 172 GWh of annual solar power. The deal supports financing for a new 139 MWp solar park set to start operations in 2028, alongside 150 hectares of land for sheep farming.

SNCF Energie, a unit of French railway group SNCF, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Neoen for 172 GWh of annual solar power. The deal supports financing for a new 139 MWp solar park set to start operations in 2028, alongside 150 hectares of land for sheep farming.

June 14, 2024 Gwénaëlle Deboutte

From pv magazine France

The good news keeps coming for Neoen. The solar and storage project developer, valued at €6.1 billion ($6.56 billion) after Brookfield’s recent friendly takeover bid, has secured a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SNCF Energie, a subsidiary of SNCF Voyageurs, for 172 GWh of renewable electricity per year. Construction of a 139 MWp greenfield solar park will commence in early 2026, with commissioning planned for 2028.

The Le Couret power station in Haute-Vienne, southwest-central France, will integrate sheep farming and electricity generation. It will provide land for 700 sheep and 1,000 lambs on 150 hectares, along with a farmhouse, hay barn, shearing area, and sheepfold for farming operations. Two apprentices will be taught about the specifics of raising agrivoltaic sheep at the site.

The PPA will reduce SNCF Voyageurs’s electricity costs, mitigating market volatility. The 172 GWh of annual generation will meet the needs of its Paris-Marseille TGV link or its Transport Express Régional (TER) service in Occitanie or Normandy.

“We are approaching our target of 20 PPAs for a total of 1.1 TWh of renewably sourced electricity,” said Olivier Menuet, president of SNCF Energie and director of the Ecology and Energy Transition at SNCF Voyageurs. “The partnership with Neoen underpins our progress and makes it a reality.”

SNCF Voyageurs said it aims to achieve 40% to 50% renewable energy – including 20% ​​from corporate PPA contracts – in its mix of electricity consumption for train traction by 2027-28.

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