Mai Carion, Philippe Veyan and Arnaud Vazeille initiated the tipienergy project and joined the EDF Pulse Incubation entrepreneurial programme in March 2023. They have just entered the TEST phase, the third stage of the incubation process. They tell us about the major challenges they will have to face in the coming months to continue within EDF Pulse Incubation and reach the final phase, LAUNCH.

Tell us more about your project. 

Arnaud - We're offering private individuals and professionals in France and abroad the chance to benefit from competitive green electricity at a fixed price over 20 years. 

Mai - In practical terms, the production of solar and wind farms is divided into tiwatts. People living near these production sites can buy tiwatts on our website, knowing that 1 tiwatt is equivalent to 100 kW/year for 20 years. So they're buying green, local electricity! It's quick and easy, and allows them to make a real contribution to the energy transition. 

Philippe - Of course, this offer is open to everyone - local residents or not! Tipienergy puts the renewable energy producer directly in touch with the end consumer.

Incubation has 4 phases. You have now entered the Test phase, the third stage. What are your main objectives and challenges over the next few months? 

Mai - Our main objective is to make a success of our pilot project with EDF Renouvelables, i.e. to market the output of the Drom solar farm in the Ain region to local residents, businesses and local authorities. To carry out this experiment, we're going to have to develop the tipienergy website, where consumers will be able to buy their tiwatts. We'll also have to define the legal framework for our product and draw up contracts with our customers and partners, including EDF Renouvelables and Agregio Solutions

Philippe - We'll also have to put in place a communication and marketing plan, organise the internal processes to ensure customer service, validate the budget, anticipate future developments and, of course, convince our future customers of the benefits of our offer to help them control their energy bills... quite a programme! 

Arnaud - During this phase, we also have to prepare for the future and identify the criteria we need to follow to know what works and what needs to be improved for future projects. Finally, from a more structural point of view, we're starting to think about the organisation of a future subsidiary, and in particular our future roles and recruitment.

Can you tell us more about the Drom project? 

Arnaud - To be able to test our product with our customers, we needed to identify a renewable energy production plant. EDF Renouvelables entrusted us with the production of a solar power plant located in Drom, in the Ain region, 15 km from Bourg-en-Bresse. This 2 MW plant is currently being built by EDF Renouvelables and Luxel, and should be commissioned shortly. Our aim is to market the plant's output - around 25,000 tiwatts - from October 2024 to individuals, businesses and local authorities in Drom and the surrounding Bourg-en-Bresse area. 

Philippe - We're lucky to have the support of everyone involved in this project. First of all, the teams at EDF Renouvelables have been working alongside us since the beginning. Local councillors are also keen to see the solution we are proposing, as it will enable local residents to benefit from green energy produced locally. The private individuals we have met, as well as businesses large and small, have also found our offer interesting, both for economic and environmental reasons. More and more companies need green, local electricity to meet their CSR objectives. 

Arnaud - And in the course of our discussions, we've come to realise that these different considerations are not specific to the Ain region, but can be found at national level, and even beyond.

What do you think of your experience at EDF Pulse Incubation so far? 

Arnaud - We think it's been a really positive experience in the sense that EDF trusts us to test our ideas and gives us the means to turn them into reality, at a time when the Group also has a lot of other priorities to deal with. 

Mai - We know how lucky we are. Having the opportunity to put our ideas into practice at the Drom power station is extremely motivating. 

Philippe - The enthusiasm of our contacts is also a real boost: we don't end an interview without being congratulated on this initiative! The local councillors are very positive about this experiment and have shown an interest in it for their own communities.

What can we wish you for the future? 

Mai - To sell lots of tiwatts as quickly as possible! And if you're interested, we'll see you in September! 😊 On a more serious note, I'd be very proud if we managed to add value for our customers in the regions, and if we proved that the Group and all our partners were right to put their trust in us. 

Arnaud - And to see our entrepreneurial adventure through to the end with the creation of a new subsidiary!