VARO Energy Group (“VARO”) and Groupe E, companies active in the energy transition, announced today that they will build the most powerful ground-mounted solar facility in Switzerland. 19,000 photovoltaic panels will generate a significant portion of electricity consumed by Switzerland’s only refinery, located in Cressier. The facility will be integrated from a biodiversity perspective and is partnering with the CSEM, a Swiss research and development center to test a new generation of solar panels, demonstrating its commitment to innovation.
VARO, owner and operator of the refinery is commissioning the largest ground-mounted solar park in Switzerland with an installed capacity of 7.7 MW. Built in partnership with Groupe E, it will be located in an industrial zone, east of the refinery and cover an area of 45,000 m2, the equivalent of about five football pitches. It will include over 19,000 static panels. The installations will be complemented by inverters and transformers, which will feed directly into the refinery's medium-voltage grid. The project will seek to protect wildlife and promote biodiversity. The investment amounts to CHF 6.5 million.
The energy produced from November 2022 onwards will be primarily consumed on site by the refinery, i.e. approximately 8.4 GWh per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 2000 to 2500 households. At full power, the park will be able to supply more than 60% of the refinery's needs. This project will enable the production of local, renewable and sustainable electricity, contributing to the energy transition.
Dev Sanyal, CEO of VARO, said: "We are delighted with our collaboration with Groupe E. This project in Cressier is an important step in VARO’s strategy to create sustainable energy options for its existing assets and to drive value. As a leading energy transition company in Europe, VARO will continue to build partnerships to accelerate its portfolio transformation and to build new opportunities offered by the ongoing energy transition."
"The development of renewable energies is essential to decarbonise our society. The solar project with VARO is an important contribution to the energy transition," says Jacques Mauron, CEO of Groupe E. "We want to act as a responsible company concerned about passing on a planet that is good to live on to future generations."
A Project in Harmony with the Environment
Measures in favour of biodiversity have been planned in conjunction with specialists in the field. These will help to protect birds and mammals. In addition, the solar farm will not generate any noise pollution. Its visibility will be very limited, particularly due to the presence of high hedges of trees.