France's largest floating solar power plant
The O'MEGA1 power plant is the first Akuo project based on floating solar technology (Hydrelio® by Ciel et Terre floating structure). Located in the municipality of Piolenc, in the French department of Vaucluse. This plant uses a site artificialized by years of use as a material extraction quarry.
The quarry operator and Akuo worked together to rehabilitate the site in order to allow its transition from one activity to the other as well as the site’s ecological restoration. The solar farm became operational and inaugurated in October 2019 in the presence of Elisabeth Borne, who was the Minister of ecological and solidarity transition at the time.
The O'MEGA 1 bis extension
Due to its success, the power plant was expanded in the summer of 2022. A new 5 MW block was added, increasing the site's total capacity to 22 MWp. The power plant now produces over 25,500 GWh per year, providing renewable and local energy to 5,700 households.
A 360° integrated project
The landscaping undertaken around the plant is a perfect example of a project that has integrated local issues and needs.
More than just a floating solar farm, the O'MEGA1 project comprises three complementary components: agriculture, education and crowdfunding.
Our CSR commitment
The agricultural component was put in place through cooperation between the Piolenc municipal teams, Agriterra and Akuo. The town hall has thus made 6 hectares of land available to several farmers to enable them to experiment with crops (pomegranate trees, organic lavender, etc.
The educational component primarily comprises an educational trail encircling the solar farm that allows local residents and visitors to better understand and grasp the specificities and challenges of this type of plant and the technological advantages of floating solar. The Akuo Foundation teams are also working with the Piolenc activity center on workshops to increase awareness of energy transition, biodiversity and agroecology issues among children and teenagers.
Lastly, the crowdfunding component was a major success as, for the Akuo Group’s first such crowdfunding campaign, the target was reached in record time. Individuals with a home in the Vaucluse or neighboring departments were thus able to participate in the financing of the energy transition while giving real meaning to their savings. The municipality of Piolenc and the Énergie Partagée citizen investment fund also decided to acquire a stake in the project company, alongside local residents and under the same conditions, to reinforce the project’s regional presence and ensure long-term citizen involvement in its governance.
The technology of floating solar panels offers several environmental advantages. By covering a portion of the water surfaces, the panels help reduce natural evaporation. The protection of these sites also has a positive impact on biodiversity, as demonstrated by the ecological monitoring of the fauna and flora conducted annually at the O'MEGA1 site.