Monaco boosts solar capabilities with new parks

Monaco Renewable Energy has announced the acquisition of five new photovoltaic parks which will cover about 12% of the Principality’s electricity consumption.
Since the government began plans to transition to cleaner energy and achieve energy autonomy by 2025, it has been implementing a mix of technologies including wind, water and solar to power the country.
It resulted in the creation of a new organisation, Monaco Renewable Energy (MER), a joint effort between the government and the Société Monégasque de l’Electricité et du Gaz (SMEG).
“In accordance with this objective, the company has just acquired five additional photovoltaic parks with a production capacity of 53MWpeak,” said Samy Touati, President of MER, in a statement. “Located in the Côte d´Or, Haute Vienne, Landes and Gard, they generate a total production of 65,000 MWh per year, or around 12% of the electricity consumption of the Principality of Monaco.”
These new additions will bring the total number of solar parks under MER’s credit to 15 by the end of this year.
This latest operation will increase the overall power of the Monaco Renewable Energy plants to 128 MWpeak, made up of 106 MW photovoltaic and 22 MW wind, together producing 184 GWh per year, equalling 34% of Monaco’s energy consumption.
“Every step forward by MER is a source of great pride for the SMEG teams who bring their expertise in the renewable energy sector, identify the best development opportunities and ensure the best possible operating returns,” said
Thomas Battaglione, Managing Director of SMEG and MER.
Samy Touati, added, “We invest in power plants regardless of their stage of development, from the start of operation of units ready to produce until the full development of projects. This strategy allows us to accelerate the constitution of our production fleet while creating new capacities. The impact of these goes beyond the energy issue alone and is part of the environmental rehabilitation of the land used.”
Due to the vast number of sunny days in the Principality, photovoltaic panels are found on several building roofs in Monaco as well as the larger scale MER projects. Many schools, such as École du Parc and the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier, are equipped with such panels, for example.
They are also found on residential buildings, such as Hélios and Jardins d’Apolline, and on office buildings like the SBM Offshore building in Fontvieille. All these panels produce electricity which is consumed by the building to meet its basic energy needs such as lighting.
There are also solar thermal panels on the outside of the Ecole St Charles building. These heat the water for the swimming pool. The Annonciade complex was fitted out with solar thermal panels in 2008, as well, to heat and maintain the temperature of the water in the swimming pool.
Photo source: Monaco Renewable Energy