French manufacturer chooses 5 GW solar factory site


From pv magazine France

French manufacturer Carbon said its TOPCon and IBC solar module factory in Fos-sur-Mer, in southern France's Bouches-du-Rhône department, will be fully operational by 2025. Upon completion, it will have an annual production capacity of 5 GW of solar cells and 3.5 GW of PV modules.

Carbon said it considered 15 sites throughout France for the project. It will build the factory on a site that benefits from direct road, rail, river and maritime connections. The site is in the heart of an industrial area that is implementing an incentive policy to encourage the establishment of sustainable industrial projects.

“Carbon’s announcement comes at a key time,” said Agnès Pannier-Runacher, minister for energy transition. “France and Europe must quickly reposition themselves in the photovoltaic value chain so as not to switch from one dependency to another.”

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The factory is scheduled to begin manufacturing by the end of 2025, with plans for full operations in 2026. It will include three production buildings focusing on wafers, cells and modules. It will make products based either on interdigitated back contact (IBC) tech or tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) tech.

French research institutes CEA-Liten, INES, and IPVF will support Carbon, in cooperation with German research center ISC Konstanz. The manufacturer aims to reach a production capacity of 30 GW by 2030.

The €1.5 billion investment will be financed through a combination of equity, public funds, and bank financing. Shareholders have already committed nearly €5 million for the project, which is now in an initial fundraising phase, to be completed by the end of the first half of this year.

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