France has announced building a 300 MW solar PV plant in Cestas, which will be the largest ground-mounted PV installation across Europe, reports Clean Technica.
Compared to 37.5 GW of solar capacity installed in Germany, France only has 5 GW and solar meets less than 1percent of electricity demand currently.
The plant is expected to produce 336 million kWh annually which will be supplied to the grid by October next year.
Currently, the largest solar PV plant in France is the 115 MW Toul-Rosières Solar Park, managed by government-owned French utility EDF, based on thin-film technology from First Solar.
The 300 MW PV plant will be developed by Neoen, which has raised $450 million for the project. The company owns solar assets in France and Portugal and aims to install 1,000 MW of solar capacity by 2017.
In addition, a 20-year PPA has been signed to sell the solar electricity from the proposed plant at a rate of $130/MWh.
The solar panels will be supplied by Yingli and Trina Solar, and Canadian Solar. The plant will be built and operated by a consortium including French group Eiffage and Schneider Electric.
France is in not in a plan to immediately close down its nuclear plants. However, according to energy transition law, the country will gradually reduce dependence on nuclear power from a current 75 percent to 50 percent by 2025.
Renewables will go up from the current 18 percent to about 32percent by 2030.