Vinon-sur-Verdon (France), May 15, 2009 – Schneider Electric today inaugurated the Vinon-sur-Verdon Solar Park in southeastern France, in partnership with SolaireDirect and Caisse des Dépots.
With the Vinon-sur-Verdon photovoltaic solar farm, Schneider Electric sets the standard for safe, reliable, efficient, productive, green energy. Its ability to offer an array-to-grid solution and related services to manage and convert the electricity produced by the photovoltaic modules and feed it to the grid makes Schneider Electric the only market operator to provide end-to-end management of solar array intelligence.
The Vinon-sur-Verdon photovoltaic solar park will produce enough energy to meet the needs of 4,000 people, without the 2,800 metric tons of carbon emissions an equivalent fossil fuel-fired power plant would produce. Built for Solaire Durance, a joint venture between Caisse des Dépots and SolaireDirect, the park sits on nine hectares of land and consists of 19,000 photovoltaic panels, for an installed capacity of 4.2 MW.
By offering an integrated, end-to-end solution and acting as the sole contact for plant management for Solaire Durance, Schneider Electric has demonstrated unique know-how that complements the expertise of solar panel designers and sets it apart from rivals. Its products and services cover every requirement, from photovoltaic solar cells to connection to the French national 20 kV grid. They include feasibility studies, power distribution architecture design, the supply of all types of equipment including junction boxes, inverters, prefabricated transformer substations, MV transformer substations, the supervision system and video surveillance, as well as operating and maintaining the site for 20 years.
Through its operating and maintenance services, Schneider Electric can guarantee Solaire Durance 97.5% availability, leveraging both preventive maintenance to anticipate problems and monitoring equipment installed at critical locations in the park. The monitoring devices provide a variety of data on the array’s operation — the status of the photovoltaic modules and inverters, the production modules, fault reporting and alarms — and enable Schneider Electric to respond in real time to correct malfunctions and resume operations as soon as possible.
Renewable energies are the key to meeting changing energy demand while reducing carbon emissions. Over the last several years, the Group has added to its stature as a major provider of renewable energy solutions, notably by acquiring companies such as Xantrex, a world leader in the inverter market for the renewable energies sector.
In addition, venture capital fund Schneider Electric Ventures is responsible for identifying new growth and innovation opportunities, focusing on emerging market and technology trends early and cultivating partnerships with startups on the cutting edge of their fields. For these reasons, it acquired a 20% interest in SolaireDirect.
The major sustainable development issues of lowering consumption, producing more efficiently, enhancing energy efficiency, protecting the environment and helping to drive renewable energy development are core focuses of Schneider Electric’s businesses and strategy. The Vinon-sur-Verdon Solar Park demonstrates its ability to deliver appropriate, integrated solutions and showcases its unique position in providing access to renewable energies.
On the record
Henri Lachmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Schneider Electric: « The Vinon-sur-Verdon Solar Park is a tangible example of how we implement our ‘One’ company program. It combines all of the Group’s products and services in a seamless, end-to-end solution tailored to the customer’s specific needs. »
Claude Graff, Executive Vice President, Renewable Energies, Schneider Electric: « The park demonstrates Schneider Electric’s renewable energies strategy, consisting of an end-to-end solution and related services to convert and manage the electricity generated by the photovoltaic solar panels and ensure a reliable connection to the power grid. »
Read the press kit on the opening of Solar Park Vinon-sur-Verdon in the Press Area of www.schneider-electric.com
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 114,000 employees achieved sales of more than 18.3 billion euros in 2008, through an active commitment to help individuals and organisations “Make the most of their energy™”.