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Switzerland’s most powerful solar facility to be built in the canton of Neuchâtel


24 January 2022

Two companies active in the energy transition, VARO Energy Group and Groupe E, announced the construction of the country’s most powerful ground-mounted solar facility in Cressier, in the canton of Neuchâtel.

VARO Energy Group is commissioning the largest ground-mounted solar park in Switzerland with an installed capacity of 7.7 MW. Comprising 19,000 photovoltaic panels, the facility will generate a significant portion of electricity consumed by Switzerland’s only refinery, located in Cressier (canton of Neuchâtel).

Built in partnership with Groupe E, it will be located in an industrial zone, east of the refinery and cover an area of 484,400 square feet, the equivalent of about five football pitches.

The installations will be complemented by inverters and transformers, which will feed directly into the refinery’s medium-voltage grid, for a total investment of about CHF 6.5 million.

Additionally, the facility will be partnering with the CSEM to test a new generation of solar panels, demonstrating its commitment to innovation.

Moreover, measures in favor of biodiversity have been planned in conjunction with specialists in the field. These will help to protect birds and mammals. 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.

A significant step towards the energy transition

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 2,000 to 2,500 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.”