Posted Feb 14 2020 at 8:01 am
676 solar agricultural buildings, five ground power plants and a wind farm in New Aquitaine (15 MW), for a total power of 150 MW. This is the objective of the loan that the
manufacturer of green power plants
(solar, biogas and wind) Arkolia. It has just obtained a first tranche of long-term bank financing of 135 million euros from Caisse d’Epargne, with the participation of bpifrance. The transaction also requires bond financing from Mirova and RGreen.
Regarding agricultural buildings, “There is a big demand from farmers, who find it difficult to invest, analyzes Jean-Sébastien Bessière, managing director. We are offering to finance the construction of their livestock or grain storage building. In return, we have the right to operate the solar roof for 25 to 30 years. “
With the prospect of the end of regulated tariffs in solar energy, Arkolia is developing new offers around self-consumption and smart grids. “Distribution brands like Intermarché, Lidl and Aldi are investing in solar projects based on self-consumption”, indicates the leader.
Arkolia has also developed Arkometha, a methanation technology selected by the Investments for the Future Program (PIA), with 5 patents filed and an R&D budget of 4 million euros over three years. This earned the company to be ranked 2nd most innovative company in Occitania in October by the magazine “Forbes” and to win first prize in December at the 2019 EnerGaïa Trophies in Montpellier.
“The innovation consists in capturing the CO2 from the air and in producing hydrogen to, ultimately, manufacture pure methane, via a biological reaction carried out by bacteria placed in a tank”, explains Laurent Bonhomme, the president. An industrial demonstrator will be installed in Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, in the Gard, in mid-2021. The investment, supported by Ademe and the Occitanie region, amounts to 1.6 million euros.
It will include a renewable source of electricity, an electrolyser powered by this energy source and a device for capturing carbon dioxide from the air. “The advantage of such technology is to transform intermittent (solar) energy into energy that can be stored in the city gas network”, specifies Laurent Bonhomme.
While several nuggets of Hérault renewable energies have been bought in the last two years – Urbasolar, Quadran, Valeco -, Arkolia Energies intends to remain independent, say its leaders. The SME has 183 MW installed and more than 1,000 MW in the portfolio.