EDF plans solar-power plant at Euro Disney, Paris

Caroline Reid
Sunday 21 February 2010 01:00 GMT

Energy company EDF plans to build France's biggest solar-power plant at the Euro Disney theme park resort on the outskirts of Paris. A sweeping structure would see solar cells cover huge canopies built above Euro Disney's 11,000-space car park, which is one of the biggest in Europe.

The canopies could also collect rainwater to reduce Euro Disney's water consumption, and the solar energy they generate would be used on-site or sold back into the grid.

"It is a very interesting project," says EDF spokeswoman Marilys Dubernet, and it could help reduce Euro Disney's €1.2bn (£1bn) annual running cost. This pushed the company to a €63m net loss last year. Earlier this month it announced that revenue for the first quarter of 2010 was down 11 per cent year-on-year to €292m.

But it will take more than the wave of a magic wand to pull off this plan to build what would be one of the biggest solar plants in Europe. Ms Dubernet says the project is still at the "first stage of development".

Euro Disney already has an agreement with EDF to buy 15 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, and some of its rides run on natural gas. EDF's magic touch would help to reduce the carbon emissions from the 64 per cent of its 15.4 million guests who arrive by car or bus.

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