French energy giant Engie and ndependent power producer Neoen have announced plans to develop Europe’s largest solar-plus-storage plant . The project, “Horizeo” will have a installed capacity of 1 GW and include a green hydrogen production unit, an agrivoltaic plant, and a data center. It is estimated to cost Euro 1 billion and will be managed by French energy regulator CRE.

The electricity generated through the project will be sold to unspecified consumers through a power purchase agreement. In a statement, the companies revealed their intention to demonstrate that solar photovoltaic energy is reliable and competitive enough to ensure a direct supply of electricity to companies. All the stakeholders in this project- Engie, Neoen, French grid operator RTE, and the City of Saucats were invited for a public debate in December 2020 by France’s National Commission for Public Debate This was to ensure that the local population is allowed to participate in its development. The companies said in a statement that the model places technical and economic innovation at its heart, while also ensuring respect for the environment.

In the New Aquitaine region, the goal is to reach 8.5 GW of solar PV power generation capacity by 2030. Currently, 2 GW has been installed, and this project would represent more than 15 per cent of the region’s projected growth. If all permits are obtained, the commissioning is expected to take place by 2026.