Crowdfunded solar plant goes live in France


Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH has supplied almost 15,000 solar modules to a large ground-mounted solar farm in western France that has had around 40% of its installation’s costs come from crowdfunding. 

Situated in the commune of Baud in France’s Brittany region, the 4.5 MW plant was officially inaugurated and connected to the central grid this month.

Comprising 14,592 solar modules from Q CELLS, the solar farm is the largest single ground-mounted PV installation in Brittany and was developed by local French renewable energy company Quadran.

Q CELLS said it was identified as an ideal module supply partner for the project because it had secured a carbon footprint (CFP) certification of 300 kg-eq/CO²/kWc for its Q.PEAK module range earlier this year.

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Such CFP certifications on solar modules are a requirement mandated by the French government in order to ensure that renewable energy growth is as environmentally friendly as possible. In order to be permitted to participate in France’s renewable energy tenders, developers must utilize only those solar components that possess CFP certification.

There is great interest in the solar farm for a number of reasons. As the largest such array in Brittany, covering seven hectares, the plant will meet the annual electricity consumption needs of 4400 inhabitants, while offsetting emissions of 1710 tonnes of CO2 each year.

And some 40 per cent of the installation’s costs were crowdfunded by citizen financing – which ensures that offtaker EDF will pay an additional €3/MWh of power produced.

Maengyoon Kim of Q CELLS said: “The entire project at Quinipily is a wonderful achievement and a testament to the desire of local citizens and the developer Quadran to boost the region’s clean energy footprint.”

This story first appeared on our sister-site, Power Engineering International.