French Army plans for 246 MW solar plant

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From pv magazine France.

France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces has announced the winner of a tender for a PV power plant at the Creil air base, north of Paris. The procurement exercise was started in August.

French company Photosol secured the contract and will be responsible for development and construction of the 246 MW solar park, which is expected to cost around €130 million.

The plant will feature 547,000 solar panels on 180ha of the ​​253ha site. Set for commissioning in 2022, it should generate around 241 GWh per year. The project is due to be France’s second largest solar plant, after the the 300 MW Cestas solar farm installed on a 250ha site near Bordeaux in 2015.

Photosol, which claims to be the sixth largest French PV generator – and second largest independent – was awarded the project by secretary of state to the minister of armed forces Geneviève Darrieussecq, who said “Photosol brings together all the technical and financial skills essential to the smooth running of the project: [The] flexibility of an SME [small or medium-sized enterprise] and financial solidity.”

Further tenders

As part of the government’s ‘place au soleil’ plan to increase solar capacity in France, the Ministry of the Armed Forces has committed to making available almost 2,000ha of land through 2022 for utility scale PV projects.

The tender also included construction of three smaller plants at military sites in Querqueville, Saint-Christol and Valbonne and the winners of those contracts will be announced soon, the ministry told pv magazine.

Darrieussecq’s communications advisor said a new 200ha tender will be launched this month. “It will be more fragmented because it has 12 sites,” she told pv magazine.

To hit its 2,000ha solar site commitment, the ministry plans to hold tenders for 400ha of land every six months.