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18 December 2013

First Solar modules to power 48MW of PV projects in France; firm’s installed capacity in Europe now over 4GW

First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA says that its cadmium telluride thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules will power four solar energy plants in France, with a combined capacity of 48MW.

Developed and owned by independent renewable energy producer Photosol of Paris, France, the projects 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 & construction (EPC) services for all four projects are being provided by French engineering company Jayme da Costa Energie, a longstanding Photosol partner since 2011.

The plants have been designed to have a minimal impact on the communities and ecosystems in which they are located: 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,” says Photosol’s managing director David Guinard. “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,” he adds. “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, Photosol has developed solar power plants with a total capacity of 63MW in operation across France and has a project pipeline that exceeds 250MW. The four new power plants are the largest ever undertaken by the firm 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,” says Luis Pedro Marques, managing director of Jayme da Costa Energie. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Photosol and First Solar,” he adds.

“These projects collectively represent a significant boost to Photosol’s installed capacity as this young, dynamic company continues to build on its successes,” comments Stefan Degener, First Solar’s director of business development for Europe.

First Solar says that it has had a fully fledged European presence since 2004. As a result of the latest deal, its installed capacity in continental Europe now exceeds 4GW, equivalent to the electricity generated by about 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.

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

Visit: www.photosol.fr

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