U.S. chemical giant DuPont has completed its largest solar power installation to date — a 4.5 MW array at its facility in Cernay, France.
The plant is one of 13 solar installations worldwide on DuPont land that boast a combined capacity of more than 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year.
The company, a leading global supplier of specialty materials to the solar energy industry, continues to expand its deployment of solar power, in line with its aim of addressing the growing global demand for energy while reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
The DuPont Cernay installation is the largest solar array on DuPont land to date and the largest ground-mounted solar park in Alsace, France. Spread over 6 hectares (15 acres), the Cernay facility features 18,400 Jinko Solar crystalline silicon solar panels that feature DuPont's advanced materials, which the company said are "designed to improve the power output, durability and return on investment for solar energy systems.
"The panels are made with DuPont Tedlar polyvinyl fluoride film-based backsheets, which are the only material proven to protect solar panels for more than 30 years even in extreme outdoor conditions, and DuPont Solamet photovoltaic metallization pastes that help ensure maximum power output."
The Cernay installation was connected to the grid in March 2014 and is expected to produce 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually — roughly the equivalent to the amount of electricity 2,000 households consume every year in France.
French project developer and solar installation investor Hanau Energies developed the project, which falls under a 20-year power purchase agreement with energy provider Eléctricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF).
"We are extremely proud to partner with a global player like DuPont on this project in France," said Hanau Energies President Jean-Luc Westphal. "The solar park in Cernay is a perfect illustration for how advanced and reliable technology and best practices in installation, operations and maintenance can be put into practice."
Martin Virot, DuPont's country leader for France, added, "The solar park in Cernay is a prime example of DuPont demonstrating its commitment to develop collaborative and innovative solutions and helping to ensure a more energy secure future. We are pleased to see this project realized in France, leveraging our advanced materials to ensure a well-performing, long-term source of electricity as we strive to meet the growing global energy demand more sustainably."
Michel Sordi, member of the French parliament and mayor of Cernay, said the array was "a brilliant showcase of socially responsible investment and collaboration between the private and public sectors. I congratulate DuPont, who continues to be at the forefront of science and technology and has developed multiple projects in the region for over 30 years."
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