French startup raises funds to build 100 MW factory for ultralight solar modules


From pv magazine France

Heliup, a spinoff of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), has secured €10 million ($10.5 million) of funding from a group of investors led by Starquest Capital and including EIT InnoEnergy, BNP Paribas Développement, real estate group Idec, and BPIFrance.

The company said it plans to use the funds to establish a production facility in France for lightweight solar panels, with an initial annual capacity of 100 MW. The facility is set to become operational in 2024.

The Stykon ultralight panels weigh just 5 kg/m2 and are designed for flat roofs on tertiary buildings that cannot support traditional framed panels.

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“We have been looking for a technology that would allow us to gain a foothold in the photovoltaic sector for a long time. We found it with Heliup which meets a need that is very poorly covered by the market: an ultra-light panel with resistance and performance equivalent to a traditional panel,” said Emmanuel Gaudé, managing director of Starquest. “This is a real breakthrough in a market representing several hundred million m2 of roofs but currently unaddressed due to a lack of economically viable solutions.”

Heliup said it plans to expand its production capacity to 200 MW or 300 MW in the future, while exploring international projects beyond France.

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