Territorial biogas projects : the crucial question of the structure that will carry the project
The lead up to a biogas project is a long "journey": back on the advice given to the Albigensian project
Once the reservoir studies are confirmed once a potential implant site is found, usually after 2-3years, the project moves into the development phase. This phase specifies the deposit. It is also in the development stage that market studies are carried out, the precise design of the biogas plant, the integration of the project into its environment, in accordance with the legislation. It is also an important phase of communication and consultation with associations, residents, ...
The project leader has at the end of this development phase (which lasts from 1 to 2 years) all the contracts, permits and authorizations to negotiate with the banks for financing the construction.
Problem: before arriving at this point, we had spent hundreds of thousands of euros over several years.
One difficulty is the question of the initial project governance, and support structure.
Several configurations were tested in France.
- First option: direct control of work by farmers. They form in a structure - such as a corporation or cooperative, create the project, seeking funding and will be in charge of its operations.
- Second option: If there is no start-up farmers core, a local authority can lead the project during the time that farmers are organized according to a scheme still open: direct control or work, or look for a co-developer.
- Third option: the actors - farmers, local authorities, public banks, ... are formed together and then use a specialized partner ("co-developer") to carry out the energy trade, economic engineering studies, negotiate the markets. He brings his experience on other projects and provides the necessary pre-financing. Of course, it is logical that farmers and local stakeholders who wish to should be part of the round table ... it is even highly recommended!
Assistance to that project management is sometimes necessary to clarify the options proposed by the co-developer for structural design, logistics, etc. ....
In general, the quality of the dialogue that will be established in the territory, will have an impact on the quality of the project. Conducting aquality dialogue is one of the missions that the Albigensian and Bastides region can lead, to allow viable projects to emerge and especially do not come into competition with each other.