The first professional life of Gérard Dellinger was in the packaging industry. When he retired, his second professional life started as he got involved in the municipal life of the village of Saint-Julien-en-Quint, in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. This small rural village suffers from the usual problems linked to remote places. Gérard Dellinger initiated innovative projects as mayor (2001-2008) and in support to his successors (e.g. implementation of a local microgrid, hydrogen mobility, optical fibre Wi-Fi). He initiated the creation of ACOPREV, a local association for clean energy and mobility. He is involved in the “hydrogen days” organised every year. He also made the municipality apply for the ambitious regional project “ZEV”, aiming at developing hydrogen mobility. As he had a professional career in industry, was an expert in the national agency for research promotion (ANVAR). Since he retired, Gérard Dellinger never stopped to work on convincing more people to get involved in these projects and develop his small village.

Update of the ACROPREV project: since 2018, the project has entered the implementation phase. In particular, the short circuit of collective self-consumption selected by AURA-EE, has become ACC European pilot site in rural areas as part of the PEGASUS project. The local cooperative  operates 120 kWc  of photovolatic panels, among which 30 kWc are used to sell electricity directly to 26 local consumers. After 2 years of discussion with the French Ministry of Energy, ACOPREV obtained a derogation to enlarge the collective self-consumption scheme. This shows that the French government appreciated the specificities of rural areas. It will enable ACOPREV to extend to the neighbouring municipalities and to achieve the design of an energy community, as defined by the European legislation.

Description of the active role towards local sustainable energy in Europe:

Gérard Dellinger has led a professional career in the packaging industry, which was successful and led him to be president of the national institute of the packaging industry. He got involved in the municipal life of the village of Saint-Julien-en-Quint when he retired and started to launch significant projects related to the local economy and sustainable energy.

Saint-Julien-en-Quint is a small village located in the Natural Regional Park of Vercors (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region). It is a small rural village, composed of 15 hamlets, which suffers from the usual problems linked to remote places (transport issues, energy issues, economic dynamism, etc.). Gérard Dellinger initiated some innovative projects, first as mayor of the municipality, and then in support of the following mayors. He always proved to have a transversal approach, focusing on energy issues but also on other important issues such as economic and cultural topics, that can enable rural places to keep being dynamic.

More recently, he initiated a very ambitious project on renewable energies, through the implementation of a local microgrid and the development of hydrogen mobility. In less than one year, he initiated the creation of a local association, ACOPREV, to promote this project, he established many partnerships with institutions (Regional council, energy cluster Tenerrdis, energy agency AURA-EE, renewable energy laboratory LESRA, Association on hydrogen sector AFHYPAC, etc.), but also companies (MC PHY, ATAWEY, SYMBIO, etc.) engineering offices (NOVENER) and municipalities. He also initiated the creation of a citizen-owned cooperative company to involve all stakeholders in the governance and funding of the projects.

The project on Saint-Julien-en-Quint aims at:

  • developing local renewable energy production, mainly thanks to solar and hydro resources
  • Helping people save energy in their home
  • Developing smart-grid solutions that reduce power outages (the village is remote and regularly suffers from power outages after storms). It means developing storage units as well as load control over the whole village. This is presently being studied through the European project PEGASUS (Med program) whose pilot site is precisely focused on Saint-Julien.
  • Developing hydrogen storage and mobility, at a local scale but in close cooperation with neighbouring territories so as to get a consistent development of H2 sub-stations.

Several steps have been already achieved toward these goals, under the strong commitment and leadership of Gérard Dellinger, who already proved in the past to be able to develop significant projects even if starting from a rural area with few means.

Persistence:

Gérard Dellinger was the one to convince the municipality to launch innovative projects. When he decided to develop the optical fibre in Saint-Julien-en-Quint a few years ago, nobody believed him because the village was only counting 150 inhabitants. And yet, he did it.

He is also very efficient to develop partnerships with many structures and in few months, it got in touch with all the main regional industrial and public stakeholders related to hydrogen sector, obtaining strong support from them to go ahead with ACOPREV project. That is why he succeeded in obtaining the participation of big companies such as MC PHY or ATAWEY in the Hydrogen days organised in April 2018.

He is able to establish a reliable relationship with many partners and looks beyond any local conflict. The present development of a local microgrid, supported by PEGASUS project, requires to work with different structures which represent different interests. Gérard Dellinger takes the initiative of meeting the distribution service operators, PV installers, engineering companies, etc. and tries to find the best way to make them all contribute positively to the achievement of a common goal.

Strategic Vision:

Gérard Dellinger has always proved to have a strategic vision of future projects that could serve for the development of rural areas. He had a professional career in industry, was an expert in the national agency for research promotion (ANVAR) and committed himself in the local life of Saint-Julien when he retired. He is presently deeply involved in ACOPREV, the local association for clean energy and mobility, and made the municipality apply for the ambitious regional project “ZEV”, aiming at developing hydrogen mobility. The project that Gérard intends to develop in Saint-Julien-en-Quint contains several objectives:

  1. Develop local renewable energy production, mainly thanks to solar and hydro resources
  2. Help people save energy in their home
  3. Develop smart-grid solutions that reduce power outages (the village is remote and regularly suffers from power outages after storms). It means developing storage units as well as load control over the whole village. This is presently being studied through the European project PEGASUS (Med program) whose pilot site is precisely focused on Saint-Julien.
  4. Develop hydrogen storage and mobility, at a local scale but in close cooperation with neighbouring territories so as to get a consistent development of H2 sub-stations.

Nevertheless, he is 90 years old, he is incredibly active in anticipating the development of hydrogen mobility for rural territories. He is brilliant in understanding technical issues and identifying the best solutions to develop. He also organised the visit of existing pilot sites in Normandie and Moselle (Sarreguemines city) to understand the state-of-the-art of hydrogen vehicles and benefit from best practice examples to implement them in Saint-Julien-en-Quint.

Leadership:

Gérard Dellinger was mayor from 2001 to 2008 but he transmitted his vision to the following mayors. Actually, Alain Vincent and Olivier Girard who were also mayors after him, are also deeply involved in Acoprev project. They have been inspired by Gérard and support the implementation of the local activities.Gérard Dellinger initiated the creation of a local energy cooperative and organised various public meetings on the territory to explain the project and get more people involved in the company. The aim is that many local inhabitants and stakeholders become shareholders of the company which will be the one to invest in local pieces of equipment for RES production and storage units. The company has been created in April 2018.