Hanwha Q Cells GmbH, the German subsidiary of one of the largest solar cell and module manufacturers in the world, Hanwha Q Cells Co., Ltd, at the weekend witnessed the inauguration of a solar self-consumption C&I project in France’s Midi-Pyrénées region that was built using Hanwha Q Cells solar modules.
The 36 kWp installation sits atop the rooftop of the new Lou Cussou Biocoop store in the town of Saint-Affrique (Aveyron), and comprises 120 Q.PEAK-G4.1 300 W solar modules. Store manager Isabelle Gaillard enlisted the expertise of local renewable energy cooperative Enercoop to manage the sales contract that now positions the Biocoop store as a producer of energy. This €45,000 solar project was installed by C2A and inaugurated on September 29.
Cooperative solar energy sharing helping to shape France’s future
All of the solar electricity that the Biocoop store array produces can be shared and consumed locally. Enercoop has entered into a contract arrangement with Enedis, the local electricity distribution network, to distribute the solar electricity to interested business consumers in the nearby locality. Enercoop will also oversee all billing to consumers that sign up to the scheme.
So far, the neighboring Codomier-Masset Veterinary Clinic has signed up to receive and consume electricity from the array, with a further handful of other interested businesses and consumers poised to join the collective operation once the first feedback has been received. Any unused surplus solar energy will be steered towards customers of the Enercoop network, which currently comprises around 5,000 members in the Midi-Pyrénées region.
Collective self-consumption is a growing market in France following the introduction of a 50 MW tender for self-consumption solar projects earlier this year. Uptake of self-consumption projects is now growing, and the model has been welcomed as a means for further liberalizing France’s energy market and helping to make it easier for private and C&I energy consumers to embrace the lower costs and zero emissions that solar electricity stands for. By using Hanwha Q Cells’ Q.PEAK-G4.1 300 W solar modules, Biocoop will benefit from lower LCOE and high power output thanks to the modules’ Q.ANTUM monocrystalline cell technology that makes them an ideal solution for large rooftop installations.
Stephan Maurel, Hanwha Q Cells Head of Sales, France, said: “It is encouraging to see more and more companies embrace France’s collective solar self-consumption market, and we at Hanwha Q Cells are proud to have been involved in this project, which is the first of its kind for the Midi-Pyrénées region.
“France is making great strides towards meeting its carbon emission reduction goals, and we see many more opportunities to help support this transition towards a greener energy system – from the residential market through to C&I installations and the utility sector.”
Benjamin Bergnes of installer C2A added: “We believe that the growing self-consumption market in France is vitally important for boosting further uptake of solar PV, which is why we are eager to ensure that our installations are always high quality and great value. This is why we selected Hanwha Q Cells’ Q.PEAK-G4.1 solar modules thanks to their reliability and impressive power output.”