France preps tender for 300 MW PV plant aimed at to-be-decommissioned nuclear site

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France’s Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition (CSFD) has announced it is preparing a tender for a 300 MW solar PV power project at the nuclear site of Fessenheim, located in the Haut-Rhin department in Alsace in northeastern France, which is planned to be decommissioned by 2020.

In its statement, the CSFD said that the terms of the tender have already been defined, and that it will be launched by the end of this year. Projects financed through crowdfunding will be encouraged, while further financial support may come from France’s public sector financial institution, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, added the ministry, without providing further details.

According to local portal, 20minutes, the CSFD will allocate 200 MW of ground-mounted solar power and 100 MW of rooftop PV capacity through the tender.

Energy storage and geothermal power facilities are also being considered to improve power supply in the region of Alsace, after the nuclear power plant is closed, the French government stated.

The German government has called on its French neighbor on several occasions to close the 40-year old nuclear plant, which in its history has seen more than one temporary shut-down due to safety issues.

One of these occurred in April 2014, and led to the shut-down of its Reactor 1. Although the plant operator, French power utility EDF, said the incident represented no real danger, German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported at the time that water was found leaking from several places.

The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) reported that internal flooding in the non-nuclear part of Reactor 1 had damaged the safety electrical systems. After being repaired, the reactor was reconnected to the grid on May 28, 2014.