January 13, 2022

Switzerland’s most powerful ground-mounted solar facility to be built in Cressier (NE)

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.

Media Contacts

VARO Energy press office

Daniel Maerki

T +41 32 758 62 04

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daniel.maerki@varoenergy.com

About VARO 

VARO Energy (“VARO”) is an energy company operating throughout the complete fuel supply chain with refining, storage, blending, distribution, sales and marketing assets. It safely delivers high-quality fuels from conventional and renewable sources to its national and international business customers and end-consumers.

The company owns manufacturing assets in Cressier, Switzerland, a majority share in the Bayernoil refinery, Southern Germany, as well as storage facilities, distribution and marketing businesses in Benelux, France, Germany and Switzerland.

VARO Energy owns a 51% stake in SilviCarbon, a global leader in nature-based Carbon Dioxide Removals (CDRs) and a 49.5% share in E-Flux, a leading provider of electric vehicle charging software.

For more information about VARO, please visit www.varoenergy.com.

Groupe E press office

T +41 26 352 54 32

communication@groupe-e.ch

https://www.groupe-e.ch/fr/decouvrir-groupe-e/medias

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Groupe E, experts in comprehensive energy solutions

Operating in Western Switzerland, we help our customers to realise their projects by providing comprehensive, efficient and sustainable energy solutions, whether for the production and distribution of electricity and heat, electrical installations, home automation, soft mobility, air conditioning or water treatment. As an exemplary employer, we support the development of the skills of our 2,500 employees, including 280 apprentices, as well as the reconciliation of private and professional life.

You can find more information at www.groupe-e.ch.

CSEM press office

Thomas Söderström

T +41 76 205 15 65

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About CSEM

CSEM – technologies that make the difference.

CSEM is a Swiss research and development center active in the fields of precision microfabrication, digitalization, and renewable energy. CSEM builds up the ties between industry and academia. It supports companies as a hub of ingenuity, a center of technological excellence and innovation, and accelerator of the digital transformation. Learn more at: www.csem.ch 

Main technical features

  • Type of installation: ground-mounted
  • Panel area: approx. 36,634 m2
  • Surface area of the ground socket: approx. 47'250 m2
  • Number of panels: 19,076
  • Tilt: 200, south-east facing
  • Installed capacity: approx. 7.7 MW
  • Estimated annual production: approx. 8.4 GWh/year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 2'000 to 2'500 households
  • Self-consumption: 100% of the energy produced will be directly consumed on the refinery site
  • Estimated project cost: CHF 6.5 million (Partnership between Varo Refining Cressier and Groupe E)
  • Owner: Varo Refining Cressier SA
  • Designer and project manager: Groupe E
Press release