Eric Besson, Minister of Industry, Energy and the Digital Economy, officially opened the new photovoltaic facility in Bollène (Vaucluse department) in presence of Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GDF SUEZ and of Michel Margnes, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chairman and Chief Executive Office 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% 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 Chief Executive Officer 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, commented:
“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.”
CNR IN BRIEF
CNR, a subsidiary of GDF SUEZ, is the concessionary for the Rhône River and France's leading producer of electricity exclusively from renewable sources. It has been operating and developing the river since 1934, in accordance with its triple mandate from the State, namely to produce hydroelectricity, develop shipping and promote irrigation and the use of river water for agriculture. As a major player in the energy market since its deregulation, CNR produces an average of 14.6 TWh annually from a mix of hydraulic, wind and photovoltaic power. Its socially responsible model of redistributing profits made by local authorities makes it a pioneer concessionary in matters of sustainable onshore development. It is also internationally recognized for its expertise in hydroelectric and river engineering [.], and plays a major role [sic] .
About GDF SUEZ
GDF SUEZ (gdfsuez.com) develops its businesses around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: liquefied natural gas, energy efficiency services, independent power production and environmental services. GDF SUEZ employs 218,350 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €84.5 billion in 2010. The Group is listed on the Brussels, Luxembourg and Paris stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Stoxx 50, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe, ASPI Eurozone and ECPI Ethical Index EMU.
Investor relations contact:
T: +33 (0)1 44 22 66 29 / E: ir[.]gdfsuez.com.