Voltalia to build small hydropower plant in French Guiana

1 September 2022

Voltalia has announced that it is developing a 2.9MW run-of-river hydroelectric power station in the commune of Maripa-Soula in French Guiana.

The renewable energy firm has signed a 30-year contract with EDF SEI for the sale of electricity from the project – with the contract due to start with the commissioning of the project, scheduled for 2026. The deal has been authorised by the French Energy Regulation Commission (CRE).

Located on the Inini River at Saut-Sonnelle, the Maripa-Soula project is expected to produce 12.7GWh per year, and will replace the current diesel generators used, reducing emissions by more than 18,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The impacts of this run-of-river hydroelectric plant will be offset by the implementation of ambitious environmental measures, with more than €1.1 million to be invested in a programme to preserve the surrounding forest, the creation of a fish spawning area, and ecological monitoring (fauna, flora, sediments and water quality) upstream and downstream of the facility.

"We are very happy to be able to complete this new project, result of a long process initiated by all our teams on site. The hydroelectric plant will meet the energy needs of the town of Maripa-Soula with a local and clean resource. The entire Maroni valley should benefit from the positive spin-offs of the upcoming project," said Sébastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia.

Serge Anelli, mayor of Maripa-Soula, added: "The implementation of this hydroelectric power station fully meets the objectives of ecological transition of the municipality: it will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the municipality by offering the inhabitants of Maripa-Soula electricity produced from a local and renewable resource. Moreover, it will improve the quality of electricity supply to the population and create local jobs. This is a project that the town has been waiting for and that I have been advocating for several years. I am very happy to see it come to fruition."

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