Semsamar and Arkolia to set 3 solar power plants in Saint Martin

A business group is being created for the construction of the three solar units.

"The Board of directors gave approval for the process of creation of a grouping with Arkolia", announced Wendel Cocks, president of the Semsamar at a morning press conference on Monday. With the company based in Hérault and specialized in the development of renewable energy, the mixed-capital company wished to create a company groupings or a public limited company so as to build three farms or solar power plants on the French side of the island, on lands already owned by the Sem (with an area of about 20 000 meters square each).

"The smallest farm will have a capacity of 1.7 megawatts and a construction cost of € 5 million and the largest, of 5 megawatts at a cost of € 10 million", said Laurent Bonhomme, president of Arkolia, the company which was contacted by the Sem a year ago.

The first farm will be built in Concordia (Spring 1); Arkolia and the Semsamar hope to begin works this year; a second plant is to be built in Concordia (Spring 2) and the third one in Green Valley.

The energy produced during the day can be stored using batteries and will be sold to EDF SEI (Island energy systems). "It is twice cheaper to produce electricity in this way than the way we produce today, using oil", says Laurent Bonhomme.

"The construction of these three farms will cover the electricity consumption of about 2 200 shelters", says the professional.

Over the longer term, as allowed by law, Semsamar intends to equip all of its residences with photovoltaic panels in order to produce the electricity consumed by its tenants and to sell it to them directly.

In parallel with the investment division, the Semsamar/Arkolia company grouping plans to create a maintenance company. "Young people will be trained and hired. They will take care of maintenance of the panels that will cover the roofs of the residences and other built assets owned by the Semsamar, says Wendel Cocks.

"We are already training young people in the frame of the Sem’ta route project." Our next project will fully focus on energy", the Semsamar stated.

Estelle Gasnet