SunPower wins large majority of France's solar+storage island tender


SunPower has been busy in various areas of the solar landscape of late, most recently with the award of 76% of the French government’s tender for solar and energy storage technology in France’s non-interconnected zones (ZNI). It will be delivered across numerous projects, as the French government looks to find a sustainable solution for island electrical systems.

The country’s Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy announced the tender last year, with the goal of “deploying solar energy which is particularly adapted to island electrical systems.” Energy storage was included in the proposal from the start, to manage fluctuating weather and to have flexible systems that can manage electricity consumption when demand is high.

SunPower was the big winner from the tender process, after being awarded 27 out of a total 33 tenders. This accounts for 76% of the process and will see the company supply 39.1 MW of solar and storage technology to France’s ZNI. This is made up of 20.7 MW of its modules, and the development of five projects with a combined capacity of 18.4 MW including battery storage.

Three of these projects will be located on Corsica and are being developed in partnership with Corsica Sole. The other two are on Martinique and Guadeloupe, respectively, and all are expected to be completed by mid-2019.

“SunPower applauds the French government for promoting solar power development in the ZNI, and its forward-thinking approach to integrating battery storage with these projects to provide a more resilient, reliable and sustainable utility grid infrastructure,” said Eduardo Medina, SunPower Executive Vice President.

SunPower’s expanding reach

News of SunPower’s dominance in this tender is just the most recent positive development from a company that is diversifying its project portfolio all the time. In keeping with the solar + storage theme, last month the company launched a new rooftop solar + storage bundle package in New York. The project will see 300 New York homes fitted with solar panels and battery storage systems to create a ‘virtual power plant,’ which will have a combined capacity of 1.8 MW and 4 MWh of battery storage.

On top of intriguing project developments, SunPower has also shown its propensity for technological innovation, recently breaking a number of module efficiency records. Just last week the company achieved a new efficiency record of 24.1% for a module using silicon cells.