The Grimaldi Forum and SMEG united for the energy transition

Publication date: 10/28/2019
On Friday September 20, 2019, H.S.H. Prince Albert II officially opened the urban solar plant at the Grimaldi Forum.

April 2019 saw the launch of this large-scale photovoltaic project. The Grimaldi Forum signed a “SunE” agreement with the SMEG in which the latter undertook to finance and install an urban solar plant on the roof of the Principality’s conference and culture center, and to operate it for at least 15 years. This operation anticipates the inclusion of the Grimaldi Forum in the eco-district of the future offshore extension, which will be the showcase for the country’s energy transition. The electricity produced by the solar plant, reinjected into the electricity network, now benefits nearby buildings, including, of course, the Grimaldi Forum and the Anse du Portier site. It will then participate in the local green production targets for the whole of the new district.
The scale of the installation and its performance make the Grimaldi Forum the biggest producer of photovoltaic energy in Monaco.

2,500 m2, 1,500 modules, annual production of close to 650 MWh
With a height of just over 15 meters, the building offers an ideal position and plenty of sunshine. However, the inclusion of a photovoltaic plant in a conference center requires a certain number of precautions, studies and ancillary operations, in particular to renovate impermeability and position the attachments for the installation. One of the major challenges of the installation was to limit the weight of the components to enable the roof of the Espace Ravel, the principal exhibition hall which has the greatest surface area, to be equipped. In addition, "keeping the Congress Centre open without disruption during the work was an extra challenge", explains Sylvie Biancheri, Managing Director of the Grimaldi Forum.

These challenges were overcome, and the roof is now home to almost 1500 modules on a surface area of 2500m², with a total wattage of 526kWc. "SMEG," says Thomas Battaglione, the company's CEO, "opted for the innovative technology of “high-efficiency” sunpower E22-360-com solar panels which are up to 20% more efficient that traditional modules. The annual production of approximately 640,000 kWh will allow the equivalent of 170 homes in the Principality to be supplied."

A project made possible by the commitment of the Prince's Government
The creation of the rooftop solar plant at the Grimaldi Forum is a result of the pro-active policy adopted by the Prince's Government for the energy transition. Other measures taken include the publication of a solar map and incentives for solar generation, making Monaco a leader in the development of renewables. In the case of the Grimaldi Forum, the Government demonstrated its commitment with the State Property Authority, which owns the building, giving its consent for the project in advance.

The Grimaldi Forum committed to leading change

The Principality's congress and cultural center has made its green policy a key plank of its corporate strategy, becoming one of the first congress centers to obtain ISO 14 0001 as early as 2008. The Grimaldi Forum's record over the last ten years is extremely positive: its overall water consumption has been reduced by a factor of 2.5, its sorting rate has been multiplied by 2.5 and its energy use cut by 25% (under an agreement with SMEG, it uses 100% green energy). Committed to change, the Grimaldi Forum is actively participating in the implementation of the National Pact for the Energy Transition, to which it signed up in 2018.

For more information, contact Dany RUBRECHT, Communications Director at the Grimaldi Forum or Laurence GARBATINI, head of external communications at SMEG

Photo credits: MC-Clic