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23/11/2021 News

Finding out about a sector with a sustainable future with TotalEnergies

  • The 10th edition of Industry Week was held from November 22 to 28 across France  on the theme: Inventing a sustainable future. 
  • The teams at TotalEnergies were mobilized to welcome the students from the school complex in Mourenx during an action certified by the French Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, of the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance. 
  • A federating objective: to help change the way young people perceive the industry, where a major recruitment drive is under way, by giving them an instructive introduction to an ecological and energy activity. 

Dario Franceschini and Quentin Jennepin-Romier, in charge of running the TotalEnergies solar power plants of Noguères Nord and Noguères Sud (near Pau), welcomed the students and their teachers on November 23. Residents in the Lacq Basin have gotten used to seeing the vast arrays of solar panels, as many of the abandoned industrial sites have been given over to renewable energy production. 

The teachers readily accepted the proposal for a tour of the plant, especially as the energy transition is part of the school curriculum. They explained that once the students have had first-hand experience of how the plant works, discussions and work on the energy transition will be much more meaningful and understandable in class. 

A solar plant that holds no secrets for its visitors

The two managers, accompanied by Anna Danjou for the organizational side, took the students on the same tour in two separate groups that received the same information. Explanations were given at different points on the tour to guide the visitors round the plant, from prospecting for land space to the development of the project backed by the environmental service, not forgetting the construction of the power plant to the operation/maintenance for around 40 years. The aim was to leave as much time as possible for question/answer sessions, so that the students could find out as much as possible about the professions, the sector of activity and how the site operates. 

In this vein, Dario and Quentin began the visit with a time to define the terminology specific to a power plant such as kilowatt and kilowatt-hour, solar cell, solar collector, generator, etc. After that, the two professionals explained how a solar panel is made, how it works using solar trackers and how the entire device is incorporated into a farm like this one.

The students and the accompanying staff all showed great interest and enthusiasm, and learned about the entire renewable electrical power production process. It was a great opportunity to see what a power plant looks like on the inside, with explanations from the people who know all its ins and outs! Both students and teachers agreed that the explanations were entertaining and easy to understand, and that they learnt a lot about renewable energies and the different professions in this rapidly growing sector of activity, open to everyone: “we all left the plant having understood a lot more about a subject that is earmarked as complex , but actually rather easy to understand in the end” said one student.


Major industrial challenges: identifying them and adapting

TotalEnergies chose to participate in Industry Week as it is an opportunity to:  

  • Boost the appeal of the industry and the different professions involved.  
  • Raise awareness among young people of industrial professions, in particular the industry of the future.  
  • Support diversity in professions and women’s place in industry.  
  • Inform the general public of employment needs in industry.  
  • Promote the image of a modern, innovative and ecological industry.

The UIMM[1] decided to help launch the 2021 edition of Industry Week from the CSTJF, a world-renowned industrial research and engineering site. The press conference was held on November 10, 2021 on the TotalEnergies campus in Pau, and was attended by economic players from the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and  Adour regions as well as representatives from the UIMM, the Medef[2], Pôle emploi (French employment center), the academic inspectorate, the CCI, the Lacq Plus company network and the Pau conurbation, under the aegis of Thierry Renard, Head of the Pau Site.  

After the different presentations that covered the major challenges – such as sustainable development of course, but also feminization, facilities for people with reduced mobility, training, etc. – Hélène Bideau, manager of the remote-sensing operational service at TotalEnergies, presented her activities within the broad energy Company. Remote sensing, which helps prepare and monitor different projects, such as solar and wind power plants, by satellite imaging, is perfectly in line with the theme for 2021 – Inventing a sustainable future. 


[1] French Union of Metallurgy Industries 
[2] The Mouvement des entreprises de France, or the Movement of the Enterprises of France, is the largest employer federation in France