Lesaffre signs the first solar CPPA (Corporate Power Purchase Agreement, a direct sale of electricity between a producer and a consumer) in the North of France, to supply the group’s largest yeast plant in Marcq-en-Barœul. This deal with Sun’R, a company founded 16 years ago and committed to the energy transition through photovoltaic projects and services dedicated to renewable energies, was made possible thanks to the support of Volterres, a supplier of green, local electricity and solutions to support the energy transition (a subsidiary of producer Sun’R. It enables Lesaffre to buy in a short circuit a part of the output from the Cambrai Niergnies Séranvillers-Forenville photovoltaic power plant.
Born in the Hauts-de-France in 1853, Lesaffre has been innovating in the field of fermentation and micro-organisms for 170 years. Today present in 50 countries through 77 production sites, Lesaffre explores every day the infinite potential of micro-organisms to better nourish and protect the planet.
This CPPA enables Lesaffre to benefit from part of the green electricity generated by the Cambrai-Niergnies Séranvillers-Forenville solar park (Nord), located a few dozen kilometers from Marcq-en-Baroeul. The Group will purchase the production of 25 MWp (Megawatt peak), or almost 25 GWh/year. The electricity will be delivered from July 1, 2023.
The signing of this CPPA is in line with the steps Lesaffre has been taking for several years to control its carbon footprint and energy consumption. Projects undertaken by the group include the installation of a biomass power plant at the LIS by Lesaffre site in Cérences (Normandy), the installation of a wind turbine at the Algist Bruggeman site in Belgium, and the signature in November 2022 of a 15-year partnership with ENGIE Solutions for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a waste heat recovery unit at the Lesaffre site in Marcq-en-Barœul.
Historically present in the Hauts-de-France region, Lesaffre is working with Sun’R to supply its Marcq-en-Barœul plant with green electricity. A partnership that makes sense given the group’s regional roots: more than 1,000 employees are based in the Hauts-de-France region.
“As part of our CSR approach, it was important for Lesaffre that its historic Marcq-en-Barœul site adopt an exemplary approach in terms of decarbonization.
Benefiting from this green energy from a local producer was an obvious choice. By investing more and more to reduce its carbon footprint, Lesaffre is committed to sustainable and responsible growth, illustrating its mission to work together to better nourish and protect the planet,” says Jean-Philippe Poulin, Lesaffre’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy General Manager.
A photovoltaic power plant on the former NATO base at Cambrai
The Cambrai plant is jointly owned by the Communauté d’Agglomération de Cambrai, SEM Energies Hauts de France, the rev3 project supported by the region, and Sun’R. In addition, Sun’R Power, also a subsidiary of the Sun’R group, will maintain and operate the plant.
Inaugurated in 2021 after five years of work and land decontamination, the photovoltaic power plant located on the former NATO base in Cambrai has been the object of a land reclamation project combined with a bird park and a leisure center. It produces a total of 63 GWh/year, equivalent to the consumption of 27,000 households.
For Volterres, this first CPPA contract support mission comes three months after the merger of parent company Sun’R with Eiffage Concessions. This first success marks a new key stage in the life of this innovative supplier, launched in 2018, for which support in setting up CPPA contracts is a strategic development focus. To achieve this, Volterres will be able to draw on its experience as a supplier to “key account” customers who are today demanding decarbonation and purchasing diversification solutions, and on its network of partner producers who already trust Volterres with their production, traced in the supply of Volterres’ customers.
Volterres’ mission is to put renewable producers in touch with consumers, according to the preferences and needs expressed by each, and to support the negotiation process (on behalf of the producer or consumer), with an awareness of market practices, right up to the signing and implementation of the cPPA contract. Virginie Vivalda, previously Volterres’ Key Account Manager, has been entrusted with the development of this new activity.
“By agreeing to make a 20-year commitment with Sun’R, Lesaffre is demonstrating its genuine confidence in the Volterres model. This signature is the fruit of lengthy discussions with the industrial company to propose a local electricity supply offer that meets its needs as closely as possible”, says Alexis Bouanani, Managing Director of Volterres.