French solar energy company Photosol has selected thin film solar modules manufactured by First Solar to power fourteen utility-scale solar power plants.
The solar farms will have a total capacity of 106.5 megawatts and will be developed and owned by Photosol. They are part of the third procurement round initiated by France's Commission de Régulation de l'Energie and will be located in central and southwest France, ranging from 4.5 MW to 43 MW in capacity. The largest project will be located in Burgundy. Jayme da Costa Energie, a French subsidiary of Jayme da Costa Group, a leading Portuguese engineering firm, will provide the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for all the projects.
When completed, the plants are expected to supply almost 134,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity to the French electricity grid in their first year of operation, generating enough electricity to power 23,000 average French households and to displace 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Photosol selected First Solar because its high performance modules offer the lowest carbon footprint, fastest energy payback time and lowest water use.
“As France continues to drive a sustained renewable energy programme to meet its CO2 reduction goals, while reliably addressing its energy needs, we see a huge opportunity for utility-scale solar to make a significant contribution by delivering reliable and affordable clean electricity” said David Guinard, Managing Director of Photosol. “Our decision to select First Solar's thin film modules was not only driven by the cost-competitiveness and proven performance advantage, but also by the significant environmental benefits that its module technology offers.”
Stefan Degener, Regional Head of Business Development at First Solar, added that the progressive French policy on reducing the carbon footprint of its solar energy programme has set a new benchmark, serving as a precedent for other countries to follow.
The projects bring Photosol's total portfolio of PV plants, powered by First Solar modules, to almost 155 MW. Upon completion, they will raise First Solar's total installed capacity in Europe up to approximately 4.5 GW.
First Solar has sold over 13,500 MW of PV modules worldwide. Its presence in Europe dates back to 2004, and the company continues to be a leading player in the region's utility-scale PV market.