First CIS/CIGS power plant installed in France

27. October 2011 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends | By:  Jonathan Gifford

Integrator Belectric and Solar Frontier have announced today the completion of their 4.2 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power plant in Bessan, France. It is the first such installation in France using copper, indium, gallium, (di)selenide (CIGS) thin-film modules. The project also represents the Japanese manufacturer's entry into the French photovoltaic market.

A solar power plant with black panels peaking through the fields and woods in France.

The 4.2 MW is designed to blend in well with the surrounding landscape. Image: Solar Frontier.

29,931 140-watt Solar Frontier modules were installed at the plant, with Belectric’s planning and construction process taking only six weeks.

In announcing the project’s completion, Belectric France’s general manager, Jochen Meyer said that they were able to install the modules at a 15 degree incline, as opposed to 25 degrees, meaning the black modules will integrate better into the picturesque southern Languedoc Roussillon region.

"This is our first project with Belectric in France, and it certainly won’t be our last," Wolfgang Lange, managing director of Solar Frontier Europe said in a statement announcing the project’s completion.

"Our plan was based on a reliable installation concept used for several German projects in the past, each with excellent results," added Jochen Meyern from Belectric France in the statement.

The modules for the installation were produced in Solar Frontier’s new 900 MW Kunitomi plant, which is in the process of ramping up. In late July, the company announced all lines were in production.

Solar Frontier’s Brooks Henning told pv magazine that the company’s CIGS modules have been shipped worldwide. "The modules have been widely accepted both by end-customers and large-plant operators all over the world."

Brookes elaborated, "We have some small operations going on in the southern part of Africa, we sell much of our products into the European market, we have a ten-MW project underway in Saudi Arabia, in Asia we’re in Thailand and India as examples, we’ve always been successful here in Japan and in the U.S. we’ve announced a four-MW project with some other big projects that are right on the verge of happening."

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