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French government accepts bids for 541 MW of photovoltaic, Concentrated Solar Power, CPV plants

The government of France has selected bids for 541 MW of solar energy plants of various technologies through two requests for tenders (RFTs), including 21 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants.

Under the first RFT for 100 to 250 kW rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, the government identified 109 projects for a total of 21 MW. Under the second RFT 105 PV, CSP and concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) projects larger than 250 kW were selected for a total capacity of 520 MW.

The French government estimates that these projects will generate roughly EUR 1 billion (USD 1.2 billion) in cumulative investments.

France explores CSP, CPV technologies

While the majority of these plants utilize solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, two CSP plants were approved: A 12 MW plant in Corsica and a 9 MW plant in Languedoc-Roussillon. These plants will join a 12 MW CSP plant under construction in Corsica as the first utility-scale CSP plants in the nation.

Another eight plants totaling 48.5 MW utilizing CPV technology were approved, and Heliotrop SAS (Paris, France) has announced that 29 MW of these projects will be built with its CPV modules. The eight plants are planned for the Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions.


Parking canopies, tracking, energy storage included

A number of PV parking canopy plants were also approved, as well as PV plants utilizing tracking systems. A further category was specified for PV plants with accompanying energy storage in Corsica or overseas departments.

Though one category extended to 40 MW, the largest of the projects selected is a 13.9 MW PV plant proposed by GDF Suez in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

Next solar tender to follow publication of industry report

French Minister of Ecology, Energy and Sustainable Development Delphine Batho and Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg have commissioned a government report on the economic dimensions of the solar industry in France, to emphasize competitiveness and employment opportunities.

Following the publication of this report on September 13th, 2012 Delphine Batho will announce details of the next solar tender.