Hanwha Q CELLS powers one of the largest self-consumption solar projects in northern France


Installed by Émeraude Solaire and managed by Partagélec, the PV rooftop array has a capacity of 40.6 kWp and is located in the municipality of Pénestin in France’s northwestern region of Brittany. The system has been installed on the roof of a municipal technical services provider, with an area of 234 m² at the heart of the CLOSO Business Park. The solar electricity produced will be self-consumed by 12 companies operating within the park, as well as an additional 50 households situated in a 500 metre radius.

One of four national pilot sites for collective self-consumption in France

After approval for the system had been obtained from bi-regional sustainable energy scheme SMILE (Smart Ideas to Link Energies) in 2016, a feasibility study for the Partagélec project was launched in November 2016 by partners Enamo and Atlansun.

With its goal being to kick-start France’s solar self-consumption sector, the project is one of four national pilot sites identified by French electricity network operator Enedis. The other three have been installed in Bordeaux, Forcalquier and Perpignan.

This 40.6 kWp system in Brittany will produce enough clean energy to save approximately 46,057 kg of CO² per annum. Local energy union Morbihan Énergies – which partially funded the €78,000 project – will manage each customer’s self-consumption bill. Any surplus solar energy will be sold to EnerCoop-Bretagne, a local energy cooperative.

Collective self-consumption is a new model for commercial and residential customers in France. The term applies to consumers that share solar electricity produced at a single point of generation but is shared between several buildings in local consumption.

In 2017, France’s government introduced a new set of regulatory framework for the grid connection of self-consumption solar installations. Lower grid fees are applicable to all consumers that self-consume solar energy generated from PV power systems no larger than 100 kW. According to the French Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea, in 2017 there were approximately 2,488 MW of PV systems smaller than 100 kW connected to the grid.

Stephan Maurel, Head of Sales France at Hanwha Q CELLS, said: “We are happy to supply our 290 W high performance Q.PEAK-G4.1 solar modules for such an important project, which we believe can help accelerate France’s energy transition goal.” He added: “Collective self-consumption of solar energy makes a lot of sense for many homeowners and small businesses, and Hanwha Q CELLS is pleased to support the growth of this sector with photovoltaic modules that combine high performance and excellent reliability at minimum LCOE.”

Jacky Lorant, CEO Émeraude Solaire, remarked: “In partnering with such a trusted brand in Hanwha Q CELLS, we are confident that the businesses and homeowners participating in the self-consumption program will be able to enjoy the immediate benefits of clean electricity, energy independence and lower bills.”

The professional partnership between Émeraude Solaire and Hanwha Q CELLS has grown with strength and mutual trust for five years, resulting in a series of successfully completed projects in France.