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Solar panel rental: Lorient offers an innovative financing model

By Béatrice Karas on 8 March 2019

The City of Lorient and Oncimé have achieved great success with a ground-breaking solar panel rental system.

Oncimé is a joint-stock company, with more than 100 citizen-shareholders, dedicated to developing renewable energy sources. Through its actions, it aims to contribute to tackling global warming and directly or indirectly create non-relocatable local jobs... among other things.

The result of a partnership between Bretagne Énergies Citoyennes and the City of Lorient, this innovative initiative combines PV panel rental and citizen engagement around a project based on self-consumption.

How does it work?

1. Self-consumption: the electricity generated by the PV panels is used directly in the buildings on which they are installed. This way of using PV power is particularly suitable for buildings that are occupied during the day: schools, administrative buildings, office buildings, etc.

2. Rental: Oncimè, following a public tendering process, has a rental agreement with the City of Lorient. The municipality pays a monthly rent in exchange for the right to use the solar panels as it wants. The most beneficial way of using the panels is of course to have them installed on the roofs of its buildings to generate electricity!
Ultimately, renting the solar panels is cheaper than buying “grid” electricity from suppliers operating power stations in France.

Oncimè’s citizen-led project struck a chord with the City of Lorient. The shareholder base is mainly local and the “one person=one voice” governance rule is in line with the philosophy of the social and inclusive economy. Oncimé also organises events every year in the buildings equipped with the panels for school pupils and city staff about PV and renewable energy.

A few figures
In 2019 Oncimé has more than 100 shareholders, nearly 400 rented PV panels and a plan to finance a PV station on a Biocoop organic shop in Lorient!
For further information, visit the Oncimé website

source pict. and article: agenda21.lorient.fr & Oncimé

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