DuPont breaks ground on 4.4 MW solar plant in France

DuPont on Thursday announced the start of construction of its 4.4 MW solar plant in Cernay, France.

The facility will be the largest solar installation on DuPont land to date, the company said, adding that the project was "consistent with the company’s aim to address the growing global demand for energy while reducing dependence on fossil fuels."

Spread over six hectares (almost 15 acres), the site will feature 17,952 crystalline silicon solar panels manufactured by Jinko Solar. The panels are made with DuPont Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride film-based backsheets, which protect the panels from the environment and provide electrical insulation, and DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes, which will help ensure reliable and efficient power output from the solar panels during their expected lifetime of 25 years or more.

The project will be developed by Hanau Energies, a French project developer and investor in solar installations. It will fall under a 20-year power purchase agreement with energy provider Eléctricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF).

The Cernay facility is expected to be connected to the grid by the end of 2013.

"We are extremely pleased to collaborate with Hanau Energies to develop the largest solar field on DuPont land in the world," said Martin Virot, country leader at DuPont France. "Solar is not only a clean, sustainable source of energy, it is increasingly cost-competitive with other sources of electricity thanks in part to the greater power output and long term reliability that the advanced materials of DuPont provide. As the world’s population continues to expand and the demand for energy in France and elsewhere continues to grow, DuPont will continue to employ solar technologies to meet the energy challenge."

Jean-Luc Westphal, president of Hanau Energies, added: "We are committed to meeting the energy needs in France safely and sustainably, and the DuPont Cernay solar site is another shining example of how we can do this by harnessing the power of the sun, by using advanced and reliable technology and best practices in installation, operations and maintenance."