Customer case

Solarization of technical and tertiary sites

Mon 13 Feb 2023

For several years now, a European telecom operator has made environmental issues a major focus of its corporate strategy. It has set the ambition to achieve the goal of net zero carbon by 2040, amid exponential and continuous growth of data traffic on the networks.

This ambition includes an increased use of renewable energies, which should represent 50% of the electricity consumed by 2025.

A Green ITN program has been launched, mobilizing all of the group's technical staff and its various divisions, based on different pillars:

  • reduce the energy consumption of its networks,
  • increase the number of electric vehicles in France by 10
  • develop a proactive circular economy approach, with, for example, products committed to eco-design, second-hand network equipment and more second-hand terminals available in its stores.

In this virtuous approach, the "Solar As A Service" was one of the tools designed to improve the operator's performance while optimizing its energy expenses

Solarization can cover up to 20% of the annual needs of equipped sites

This project is about the solarization of technical and tertiary sites in France. The objective is to carry out a partial solarization of these sites, aiming at covering a part that can go up to 20 % of the annual consumption, according to the available surfaces and the economic balance of the project.

Scope of Sofrecom's support

In collaboration with the operator's teams, the purpose of the mission was to ensure, on the photovoltaic part, the support and the technical accompaniment during the various stages of the project: identification of the solar potential of the sites, drafting of the technical chapters of the specifications, analysis and notation of the answers of the suppliers during the various stages of selections.

Identify the solarizable surfaces

To identify the potential of the sites, it is necessary to compare the data of electrical consumption and the potential of production and thus identify the solarizable surfaces. Using a sizing software, the energy production is simulated on an hourly basis for given surfaces, via aerial views and building plans. We are looking for the optimum in terms of surface and installed photovoltaic power so that the entire production is absorbed by the site, the possible surplus being capped and not recoverable in a self-consumption model.

Validate the hypotheses of energy production volumes

Challenging the suppliers on their technical solutions enabled to verify the announced energy production volumes.

These volumes were obtained from simulations based on various parameters such as orientation, shading, the weather database used, etc. The aim was to ensure that these parameters were properly taken into account in order to maximize the impact in terms of results. Indeed, a production lower than the one announced, implies to compensate by buying more energy than expected on the network and degrades the volume of the potential gains over the duration of the contract.

Complete site data

For this project, the sites concerned were complex and the data provided on these sites had to be completed (specific energy architecture, state of the roofs). Some technical constraints were identified and documented for the needs of technical solarizations.

Adapt the solutions provided

Based on an evaluation grid dedicated to this project, we were able to study the first technical answers of the suppliers selected in advance. Based on this information, we returned to these suppliers with a list of questions to allow them to refine their answers and orient them towards a certain installation and connection method. The implementation areas and the energy injection methods within our energy architectures were thus adapted to comply with the customer's expectations with the aim of guaranteeing the supply of the sites, in order to avoid, for example, interference between the inverters and the backup generators. 


Opex financing defines the cost per kWh during negotiations with 20-year visibility.

By bringing its technical expertise, Sofrecom allowed the customer to lighten its engineering phase in order to ensure that the integration and the exploitation of this technology to the existing site is realized according to the specificities of the site. Solarization is particularly sensitive and must not generate any risk to its power supply. Guaranteeing this absence of impact implies technical choices that require specific expertise. Other promising projects of the same type of solarization of technical and tertiary sites in SaaS mode are currently being deployed

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