Eco-electricity from Aquitaine: GP JOULE inaugurates one of the largest solar parks in France

The German power plant project manager GP JOULE has just completed one of the largest solar parks in France with an effective power of 40 megawatts. GP JOULE is planning eleven other parks.

For the community of Pompogne with just under 200 inhabitants it was a special day: And not only because there were nearly as many guests as inhabitants. One of the largest solar parks of France was inaugurated that day. “As the mayor of Pompogne I am very proud that we can press further ahead the development of renewable energies in France”, explains Jean-Louis Bernadet, mayor of Pompogne.  “It is not only a benefit for our environment but also an important economic factor for our region”.

The solar park of Pompogne consists of four sections. Together they cover a surface of 75 hectares and inject the generated energy into four traces and a central transformer plant in the nearby-situated Casteljaloux.  Therefore GP JOULE cooperates closely with RTE which for the first time in the Southwest of France inject solar energy into the high-voltage network. “It was a challenge to integrate the four individual parks in Pompogne, Barbaste and Fargues into one large park and connect it with the network. For this purpose we had to lay about 80 km of cables”, explains Heinrich Gärtner, managing director of GP JOULE.

“We are pleased to contribute to the energy turnaround in France with the project in Pompogne”, comments Gärtner. The new park is up to now the most important international project of the general contractor GP JOULE which has been working in France since 2012 and which is planning eleven other parks with a total output of 106 MW.

In Aquitaine there is the most important growth of photovoltaic in the whole of France. 54 MW were installed only in the first quarter 2012, including 40 MW built by GP JOULE. Nationwide the installed capacity increased to 3.2 gig watts.  Most of the photovoltaic plants were installed in the regions of Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes- Côte d’Azur. If it was up to Delphine Batho, minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy, there should be more of them by the end of 2013: the minister is planning a further extension of French solar projects with a total output of 1.000 MW which means an increase by 25%.

The company:
Simply energy – according to this slogan GP JOULE develops, engineers and implements projects for the promising utilization of renewable energies. Co-founders and agricultural engineers, Ove Petersen and Heiner Gärtner together with André Hirsch, diploma in business administration,  aim to combine the interests of land use and profitability in order to create exciting and profitable opportunities for investors. Besides the business fields of solar, wind and biomass energy, with their future strategies division they have established a knowledge pool that integrates the know-how of all their specialist departments and allows them to create comprehensive energy solutions. At the same time they are focusing on the research of new technologies. GP JOULE has got four locations in Germany and two international locations in the USA and Canada. The headquarters is in Reußenköge in Northern Germany.