Akuo Demonstrates Rapid Progress in Floating Solar Technology by Successfully Commissioning the Cintegabelle Floating Solar Plant

Representational image. Credit: Canva

Akuo, a leading independent renewable energy producer and developer, and a pioneer in floating solar technology in France, has successfully commissioned a cutting-edge floating solar power plant near Toulouse in southern France’s Cintegabelle region.


The inauguration is scheduled for September and Akuo Group remains committed to advancing its efforts in the floating solar sector, with plans to launch a third floating solar power plant in Gouts, located in the southwest region of France (Landes).

Cintegabelle marks the second operational floating solar plant by Akuo, following the successful commissioning of the O’MEGA1 plant (17 MWp) in Piolenc, France, in October 2019. The O’MEGA1 plant’s capacity was further expanded to 22 MWp in the summer of 2022. Situated on Cap Vert Lake, covering an area of 19 hectares, the Cintegabelle plant boasts an impressive capacity of 8.7 MWp. This man-made lake, originally a gravel quarry, now serves a multi-purpose role as a reservoir, fishing area, and sustainable source of solar electricity, thanks to the integration of floating solar technology. 


By delivering local and decentralized renewable energy, the newly established floating photovoltaic power plant supplies clean electricity to over 2,000 homes, preventing the emission of more than 900 metric tons (1,000 tons) of CO2 each year. This significant environmental contribution aligns with Occitania’s goals, as the region aims to quadruple its photovoltaic production by 2030 and establish itself as Europe’s leading positive energy region by 2050.

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The commissioning of the Cintegabelle floating solar plant was made possible through the financial support of Arkea Banque Entreprises & Institutionnels, Caisse d’Epargne Aquitaine Poitou Charentes, and its financial engineering subsidiary Hélia Conseil, along with contributions from the Energy MAIF Transition fund. Akuo has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Octopus Energy (formerly Plüm Energie), an electricity supplier. This PPA documents a long-term commitment (20 years) from Octopus Energy to purchase the electricity generated by Akuo at the Cintegabelle plant at a predetermined price.

Floating solar facilities offer several environmental advantages. By covering a portion of the lake’s surface, the solar panels reduce natural evaporation. To preserve the aesthetics, a hedge composed of multiple species has been planted to minimize the visual impact of the power plant from Espalmade Lane. The site remains accessible to the public, and its fishing activities have been maintained. Continuous monitoring of the site’s flora and fauna will take place throughout the lifespan of the solar plant. An educational trail is also currently being developed to promote learning about renewable energy. In line with this educational initiative, the village’s youth department and activity center have been actively involved in creating informative signs, which are currently being installed.

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Eric Scotto, Akuo’s Chairman and co-founder, said, “It is a source of immense pride for Akuo and all its teams to see this second floating plant become operational. Floating solar technology is crucial to meeting the energy challenges we must rise to together. At Akuo, we are accelerating this through our latest commissioning. We are also delighted to help a new production business model emerge, hand in hand with a longstanding partner, Octopus Energy, and our financial partners”.

Benoit Bonaventur, Head of the Environmental Transition Department at Arkea Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels, added, “We are particularly pleased and proud to be supporting Akuo’s construction of the Cintegabelle floating solar plant, innovative in both technical and contractual terms (sale of electricity to a corporate, Octopus Energy). Furthermore, the plant’s commissioning will have a positive impact for the area (production of decarbonized electricity, jobs, ground rent financing market gardening, etc.) and help the village and the Occitania region to reach their future energy targets”.

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Vincent Maillard, co-founder and CEO of Octopus Energy France, explained, “We have been working with Akuo for several years to bring about a new economic model that allows the development of new local production facilities while offering clients the possibility of benefiting from stable price terms over the long term. The current crisis shows just how directly useful this business model is locally”.

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