Biomass energy: SPIE contributes to the new cogeneration plant of Chartres Métropole (Eure-et-Loir, France)

Published on 19 July 2018

Saint-Herblain, July 19th, 2018 – The Industrie division of SPIE Industrie & Tertiaire is about to complete work on the electrical installations, supervision, fire detection system and video surveillance system of the biomass cogeneration plant in Gellainville (Eure-et-Loir). The new facility will provide electricity to almost 17,000 households and heat the equivalent of 6,000 homes.

The construction of the new biomass cogeneration plant, undertaken at the initiative of Chartres Métropole (the metropolitan authority of Chartres), forms part of a project aimed at modernising and extending the conurbation’s district heating system to new users.

After being awarded the contract following an invitation to tender by Cabinet Merlin (the project manager), the Industrie division of SPIE Industrie & Tertiaire was tasked with carrying out the operations relating to the plant’s high-voltage, low-voltage and low-current electrical installations and its automation and supervision systems (video surveillance and system control), for a total of 1.9 million euros.

Biomass: a new energy source to be promoted

The aim of the new plant is to produce new and sustainable energy from biomass – specifically, from wood sourced from the recycling industries (75% of class B wood, i.e. reclaimed wood treated with paint or varnish, and 25% of wood chips). Most of the heat produced by its combustion will be injected into the district heating network. The excess will be sent to a steam turbine, which will convert it into electricity. The new plant will replace the current gas boiler, which will then take on a support role for the cogeneration plant.

At maximum capacity, the plant is expected to produce 70,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of heat per year, equivalent to the needs of 6,000 homes, and the volume to provide 17,000 homes with electricity.

SPIE: multi-technical services provider in sustainable energies

SPIE has been involved in large-scale operations on 3 phases of the contract (biomass handling, the boiler system and steam circuit utilities), providing the following services:

- the connection of an 8-megawatt turbine to a 15,000-volt high-voltage network;

- the supply and installation of a 10 MVA step-up transformer and of 2 auxiliary transformers;

- the automation of common equipment;

- the installation of supervision software to manage the facilities from a control room offering a total of 200 screen views;

- the installation of the low-current fire detection and video surveillance systems.

Design studies began in September 2017 and the works are expected to be completed in July 2018. Final commissioning of the new plant is scheduled for November 2018. Around twenty staff are assigned to the operation.

This operation required a breadth of expertise that few companies are able to offer. Our main assets were our expertise and our excellent references across all technical areas”, notes Benjamin Hamard, industry business manager in the Industrie division of SPIE Industrie & Tertiaire.