France builds world's biggest photovoltaic solar plant

Mar 02, 2010
Solar panels. French energy giant EDF is building the world's biggest photovoltaic solar power plant at an abandoned NATO air base and plans to have it open by 2012, a spokesman said Tuesday.

French energy giant EDF is building the world's biggest photovoltaic solar power plant at an abandoned NATO air base and plans to have it open by 2012, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Jean-Marc Dall'Aglio, of EDF's subsidiary EDF-EN, said the 415 hectare (1,025 acre) site in Toul-Rosieres, near the eastern city of Metz, would produce 143 megawatts, enough for a town of 62,000 people.

The current largest photovoltaic plant is at Olmedilla in Spain, producing 60 megawatts. Several much larger plants are under construction in the United States and Australia and might beat the French contender.

Toul-Rosieres will quadruple nuclear-dependent France's photovoltaic power output, but still leave it far behind sunny Spain and Germany, which generate 1,671 MW and 1,505 MW respectively.

Dall'Aglio said it was difficult to find sites large enough for the huge arrays of needed to generate a viable amount of power, insisting that EDF was always looking for more.

Asked why the latest one was to be sited in cloudy Lorraine rather than the sunny south, he said that the state had decided to increase the tariff paid to producers in gloomy regions to encourage investment.

"We're hunting all the time, everywhere. In Toul-Rosieres the advantage is that the site is available straight away," he said, adding that EDF would pay the government rent of around a million euros (1.35 million dollars) a year.

Some 150 people will be involved in building the plant, including the work of removing asbestos from around 100 abandoned military structures, and once it is open it will employ 15 permanent staff, he added.

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User comments : 4

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Buyck
3 / 5 (3) Mar 03, 2010
Imagine that the efficiency will grow in the coming years!
ricarguy
2.9 / 5 (7) Mar 03, 2010
So let's see, France's largest solar power plant will be built in a cloudy place because some government idiot offered them a taxpayer funded subsidy. Brilliant.
El_Nose
3 / 5 (1) Mar 03, 2010
actually after installation the effienciecy will only go down -- and the fact that they delibritly chose a sight that is known to be cloudy is a waste of subsidized money.... too much government and too little practical business effects used in this case... and why would you spend money to overhaul the solar farm to new panals knowing that if it was 250 miles away it would produce twice the product you are selling at the cost of simply a higher rent????

This makes little sense -- its like putting solar farm in the UK or Seatle -- why would you do that??
3432682
1.7 / 5 (3) Mar 03, 2010
Money pit. Big government is the enemy. How much efficiency was wasted by the cloudy site? How stupid does government have to get before the citizens put a stop to it? The sheeple of Europe are getting the government they deserve.

How much did this monstrosity cost? You can be sure it costs many times more than conventional power. Spain's solar excesses kill 2 jobs for each one they create. Spain's unemployment rate is now 20%. Depression. Nice going, amigos.

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