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Voltalia biomass power plant starts operations

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Energy Global,

Voltalia, an international player in renewable energies, has announced that the Cacao biomass plant in French Guiana produced its first kWh 17 December 2020. Thanks to an investment of approximately €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.

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 MW, 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 stabilise the non-interconnected network of French Guiana. This new battery brings Voltalia's storage capacity to 13.1 MW locally.

Combining renewable energies and circular economy, while keeping the primary forest intact.

The Cacao power plant operates continuously 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 tpy of CO2e. 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 optimise Cacao’s maintenance, Voltalia is capitalising 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 MW.



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The Winter issue of Energy Global provides a range of technical articles covering technological advancements and future outlooks in the renewables sector, from companies including CorPower Ocean, Rystad Energy, Black & Veatch, Voltalia, FUERGY, and more.

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