Boralex Starts Up its First Solar Power Plant

A number of dignitaries, including Jean-François Pagès, mayor of Avignonet-Lauragais and the town council, attended the ceremony to mark the inauguration of the Avignonet-Lauragais solar park. Located on the same site as the Corporation’s wind farm of the same name, which has an installed capacity of 12.5 MW, the two parks establish the first mixed renewable energy site in France.

"With the start-up of our first solar park, Boralex is again diversifying its sources of energy and furthering its growth," says Patrick Lemaire, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boralex. He adds that "this first step into solar power will not be our last: our next ones will be made carefully, based on our experience with this first project, in order to create a place for ourselves in this industry in France or elsewhere."

Patrick Decostre, General Manager of Boralex Europe, notes that "the solar park is part of our plan for sustainable development not only in terms of the renewable energy generated locally, but also in the environmental enhancement of the site through the reintroduction of non-crop field plants that have been extirpated from the Lauragais countryside."

Boralex will act on its commitment to protect biodiversity by careful management of the site and shoreline farmland, particularly with respect to irrigation and non-use of pesticides. The partnership between Boralex and the WWF exemplifies the integration of biodiversity management in renewable energy development.

The Avignonet-Lauragais solar site covers about 13 hectares and is composed of 20,320 photovoltaic panels with Q-Cells. Moreover, Q-Cells took over the engineering and construction of the site. Average for the first ten years, the generation of about 5,000 MWh of electricity will meet the needs (excluding heating) of about 1,750 French households and avoid the emission of close to 1,100 tonnes of CO2.

Boralex is a power producer whose core business involves developing and operating renewable energy power stations with a total installed capacity of 700 MW in Canada, the Northeastern United States and France. Boralex is also committed under power development projects, both independently and with European and Canadian partners, to add approximately 400 MW of power. With nearly 350 employees, Boralex is known for its diversified expertise and in-depth experience in four power generation segments — wind, hydroelectric, thermal and solar. Boralex’s shares and convertible debentures are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols BLX and BLX.DB, respectively.

The Q-Cells Group is one of the world’s leading photovoltaics companies and offers a wide range of photovoltaic solutions, from solar cells and modules to solar power plants. Q-Cells’s products are developed and manufactured at its headquarters in Bitterfeld-Wolfen (Germany) and marketed via its global sales network. It also has a second production plant in Malaysia.

More than 200 scientists and engineers at Q-Cells are working to swiftly advance solar technology and achieve Q-Cells’ twin aims: driving down the costs of photovoltaics quickly and permanently, and making solar power competitive. The close links between R&D and production enable Q-Cells to rapidly translate cutting-edge innovation into mass production – and underpin its ambition to be at the forefront of photovoltaic technology.

Q-Cells is quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (QCE; ISIN DE0005558662) and also listed on the TecDAX, the German technology index.