France’s battery gigafactory takes shape


From pv magazine France

France-based battery cell producer Verkor has gained the support of Capgemini SE, a French multinational corporation that provides consulting, technology, professional and outsourcing services, for its plan to build a 16 GWh battery cell manufacturing facility in Rodez, about 150 km northeast of Toulouse, in the Occitanie department of Aveyron.

Capgemini will bring its expertise in digital transformation, technology services and engineering to harness the full potential of digital and data for excellence in low-carbon battery manufacturing, Verkor said. “One of the goals of Capgemini is to improve the manufacturing process for Verkor's batteries, reducing waste and inefficiency, but also improving the environmental and economic performance of Verkor's business model,” the company further explained.

Capgemini has joined other partners in the project such as Schneider Electric, EIT InnoEnergy and Idec Groupe, which announced their partnership with Verkor in August 2020. “The key to our success is to bring together the best talents, resources and skills from around the world in order to bring to the market by 2023 low-carbon batteries made in France,” said Verkor CEO Benoit Lemaignan.

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“We are excited to apply our know-how in digital and contribute hand in hand with Verkor to the creation of a modern, connected and highly efficient gigafactory in France,” stated Roshan Gya, director of southern and central Europe at Capgemini Invent.

Battery production at the proposed Verkor fab would start in 2023 with an initial annual manufacturing capacity of 16 GWh that could rise to 50 GWh depending on demand, according to the start-up.

IDEC Group and Grenoble-based partner ER2I are overseeing land acquisition for the project as well as the design and construction of the fab, with Schneider Electric bringing its industrial expertise and strong links to Europe's existing battery supply chain.

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