First Solar, Inc. today announced that its advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules will power four solar energy plants in France, with a combined capacity of 48 megawatts (MW).
The projects - developed and owned by Photosol, a French renewable energy company - are being constructed in the country’s Auvergne and Midi-Pyrénées regions: three plants, with a total capacity of 37MW, are located in the communes of Dompierre sur Bresbe, Gennetines and Marmanhac; a fourth facility, with a capacity of 11MW, is being built in Sarrazac. Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services for all four projects are being provided by Jayme da Costa Energie, a leading French engineering company and a longstanding Photosol partner since 2011.
The plants have been designed to have a minimal impact on the communities and ecosystems they are located in: while three of the facilities are built on pastureland - allowing landowners the additional benefit of being able to graze livestock at the sites - the fourth is sited near an oak forest and includes access for wild animals.
“As France actively promotes the adoption of solar energy, these projects will contribute towards the country’s efforts to diversify its energy mix. We expect these projects to make a significant local impact by providing communities with clean energy and contributing significantly to Europe’s CO2 reduction goals,” said David Guinard, Managing Director of Photosol. “Our choice of First Solar’s thin-film modules was based on a combination of cost-competitiveness, unrivalled bankability, the ability of its modules to reliably deliver solar power and the fact that the technology has the smallest carbon footprint, with the fastest energy payback time.”
Founded in 2008, Paris-based Photosol has developed solar power plants with a total capacity of 63MW across France and has a project pipeline that exceeds 250MW. Significantly, the four power plants are the largest ever undertaken by the company and also mark the first time it has partnered with First Solar.
“These projects are an excellent example of how France, like other parts of Europe, can diversify its power generation portfolio and achieve energy security by maximizing the use of available land and leveraging its most abundant energy resource – sunlight. We are proud to have been part of effort and look forward to continuing our partnership with Photosol and First Solar,” said Luis Pedro Marques, Managing Director of Jayme da Costa Energie.
“These projects collectively represent a significant boost to Photosol’s installed capacity as this young, dynamic company continues to build on its successes,” said Stefan Degener, First Solar’s Director of Business Development for Europe. “I would like to thank our partners at Photosol and Jayme da Costa for the trust they’ve placed in us; their decision to use our advanced thin-film modules is testament to the technology’s suitability to utility-scale solar power plants in a wide variety of conditions.”
First Solar has had a full-fledged European presence since 2004, and it continues to be a leading player in the region’s utility-scale PV market. As a result of this deal, the company’s installed capacity in Continental Europe now exceeds 4GW, equivalent to the electricity generated by approximately four nuclear power plants. Its modules power an estimated 1 million homes across the region, while displacing over 1.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, based on European Union averages, per year.
About First Solar, Inc.
First Solar is a leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems which use its advanced thin-film modules. The company’s integrated power plant solutions deliver an economically attractive alternative to fossil-fuel electricity generation today. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life module recycling, First Solar’s renewable energy systems protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.
Photosol, founded in 2008, is an independent renewable energy producer specialized in large photovoltaic (PV) power plants (between 8 to 12 MW each). The Company is present across the whole value chain as it develops, finances, builds and operates photovoltaic power plants in France. As of end of 2013, Photosol will have invested nearly €100 million, with 63MW of projects in operation and a pipeline of more than 250MW. In 2014 and 2015, Photosol is raising capital to invest an additional €100 million in the construction of new ready to build PV power plants. For more information, please visit www.photosol.fr.
About Jayme da Costa
Throughout its 96 years of activity, Jayme da Costa has become one of the most respected companies within the engineering area. Its achievements within the site civil, mechanical and electric installations, as well as the conception and the manufacturing of LV and MV electric equipment, have fostered its national and international recognition. Working in renewable energies projects since 1980’s across Europe, Africa and South America, Jayme da Costa Group and its regional branches has installed, participated and/or commissioned over 350 MW of Solar Power Plants, 3.5 GW of Wind Power and 300 MW of Small Hydro Power Stations.