It has been a year since Michelin stopped production in its factory in La Roche-sur-Yon (Atlantic France). In partnership with local authorities, the industrial company is preparing a second life for the site which is going to be transformed into an innovation cluster for sustainable energy.
In Atlantic France, we take advantage of the past to build the industry of tomorrow. The transformation of Michelin’s former industrial site in La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée) is a perfect example of this ambition.
The tyre specialist decided to stop production in April 2020, but made a commitment to participate in the conversion of the site. And the group recently signed a promising letter of intent alongside several public authorities: the Pays de la Loire Region (Atlantic France), the department of Vendée, Greater La Roche-sur-Yon, the utilities operator SyDEV, and Vendée Energie.
A center for innovation in the renewable energy sector
The industrial site will therefore be transformed into an innovation center for the energies of tomorrow. “The objective is to develop an ecosystem allowing the creation of jobs and activities in sustainable energies and the industry of the future“, says the letter of intent.
The partners mention five functions this energy innovation hub will have: support industry and artisanship, research and development (demonstrator), training-research, start-ups (incubator), services and coordination.
A multi-energy fueling station: hydrogen, biogas and electricity
The first project led by the innovation hub will be about “the distribution of new energies” and “research and training on sustainable territories and energy flexibility”.
Specifically, in a few months the site in La Roche-sur-Yon will host a multi-energy station proposing green hydrogen, BioNGV, and charging stations for electric vehicles.
Sustainable hydrogen to run public vehicle fleet
This innovative fueling station will distribute 100% sustainable hydrogen produced by the startup Lhyfe directly from the wind farm in Bouin (Vendée).
The green hydrogen, which only releases oxygen during its production and water during its use, will be used by several public vehicles such as buses, garbage trucks, fire-fighting vehicles, etc.
The energy innovation hub in Vendée, a strategic move for Michelin
Michelin has recently revealed its strategy for 2030. The French group is aiming to diversify its activities and reduce the share of tyres in its sales from 95 to 70%. In particular, Michelin is investing in hydrogen mobility and wants to make Symbio (a joint venture with Faurecia) a world leader in hydrogen fuel cell systems. The company is therefore fully committed to the transformation of its former industrial site in La Roche-sur-Yon which will become a sustainable energy innovation hub.