Lionel Themine, Thomas de Moussac, and Julien Fleury used to repeat to themselves every year when they met as friends to travel to distant countries with their backpacks. “You will never do it,” their adventure buddies would reply, convinced that the three friends would never leave the comfort of their positions as auditors at Capgemini and Ernst and Young. However, these former students of Edhec had a quiet determination and took the time to find an industry that suited all three of them. After careful consideration, they settled on the emerging field of solar energy, more specifically, agrivoltaic farms.
“None of us is an engineer,” said Thomas de Moussac, “but between the legal and financial aspects, building construction, and the commercial development of this project, each of us found their role. The distribution of tasks happened very naturally.” Fifteen years after its creation and an accelerated learning process, during which the three friends didn’t hesitate to climb roofs to install panels, the company located in Biard, Nouvelle Aquitaine, has 200 employees, achieves a turnover of 200 million euros, and has installed approximately 600 sites with a power of about 450 megawatts. Furthermore, Technique Solaire is now diversifying into methanization and energy storage.
“We managed to survive the burst of the photovoltaic sector bubble in the 2010s,” recalls Julien Fleury. “The introduction of a moratorium to regulate this booming sector created a sudden halt. Eight years later, driven by rapid growth, they carried out their first fundraising with Bpifrance and still Crédit Agricole. Then a second one in 2020, and a final one of 200 million euros in 2023.”
“In addition to our international development, we aim for 400 employees and 4 gigawatts installed by 2030,” aspires Lionel Thémine, praising the quality of the relationships he maintains with their historical investors. “In case of obstacles, they are always seeking solutions,” he praises. “Technique Solaire is also a member of the French Fab,” adds Thomas de Moussac. “For us, it’s an interesting communication tool, especially for promoting our French origin.
It’s also an easy way to access a network of industrial companies.” Launched in 2017 by the Ministry of the Economy, the French Fab collective aims to energize the French industry by connecting the country’s companies, highlighting them, and presenting the public support offers they can access. Lionel Themine, Thomas de Moussac, and Julien Fleury, who are also pleased to contribute to improving the finances of the farmers on whose land they install their panels, admit to having gone through some very intense work periods, where they didn’t count their hours or their days of the week. It’s during these times that their friendship took precedence.
“Traveling has taught us to know each other well, which prevents us from bickering,” observes Thomas de Moussac. “In difficult times, there’s always one of us who pulls the others,” adds Julien Fleury, as if the three friends had just returned from one of those trips around the world that helped bond them.