Vinci Airports will install a 14-hectare solar power plant at Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport, with construction due to start this autumn.

One of the largest shaded power plants in France, the panels of the new facility will sit above some 5,800 parking spaces at the French airport. The plant will have a 20MWp capacity, producing 24GWh of green electricity annually, equivalent to the consumption of 9,000 inhabitants. Electricity produced will be fed into the national grid to supply the neighbouring communities, avoiding the emission of nearly 1,600 tons of CO2 per year when compared with the type of electricity currently used.

The plant was the winner of the latest call for tenders issued by the French Energy Regulation Commission, and its construction has now been validated by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition. With work scheduled to start in autumn, the plant is due to be commissioned in summer 2024.

The project has been awarded to a consortium comprising Neoen and SunMind (Vinci Concessions' photovoltaic subsidiary), which will design, finance, build and operate the plant until 2047.

This large-scale initiative is part of Vinci Airports’ ambition to produce renewable energy at its airports. The company already has a capacity of more than 40MWp, with solar plants in operation at its airports in the UK, Portugal, Brazil or the Dominican Republic, and aims to exceed 1GWp.

“Airports are places of opportunity for photovoltaic production, which is why Vinci Airports has been committed to developing solar power plants for several years now. This enables us to decarbonise our own consumption, but also to contribute to the energy transition of [local] territories, by injecting the electricity we produce into the network, as we will soon do in Lyon,” said Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and president of VINCI Airports.

Image: Vinci Airports