REC identifies location of 4 GW solar module plant in France – PV Magazine International


The French National Commission for Public Debate validated, on November 3, the launch of a public consultation on the project initiated by the Norwegian group REC. The chosen location is Hambach, in the northeastern region of the Moselle. The planned investment is 680 million euros.

Norwegian solar module maker REC, a unit of Chinese chemical company Chemchina, plans to build its heterojunction photovoltaic module plant in the eastern part of the ZACEuropole II industrial zone, in Hambach, near Sarreguemines, in the French region of France. north-west of the Moselle.According to the French National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP), the company launched the public consultation process on the project on July 23 and filed in August applications for environmental authorizations and building permits.

The CNDP validated the launch of the public consultation on November 3 and asked the CER to study “flexible” modalities in order to be able to ensure the greatest possible number of face-to-face meetings. The CNDP should give its final green light on November 28, for a start of consultation on December 14, 2020, and an end scheduled for February 8.

Information meetings, round tables, exhibitions and workshops are planned from January in several municipalities of the department to present the project to the inhabitants. At the end of the consultation, two designated guarantors will have one month to write a report and then the REB will have two months to present its responses.

According to the preliminary consultation document, the new plant will cover almost 148,000 m². The start of work is scheduled for June 2021. Everything will be done on site: production of cells, assembly of modules, quality control as well as receipt of raw materials and shipment of finished products. The plant should start up in 2022, with 2 GWp produced per year, before reaching cruising speed in 2025, with 4 GWp / year – 9 million photovoltaic panels manufactured each year.

REC is focusing on the production of modules that will comply with French rules for the construction of large-scale photovoltaic power plants via the French government’s tendering mechanism. These calls for tenders give priority to projects built with a low carbon footprint. In addition, REC is leveraging heterojunction technology already in use on a smaller scale at the REC site in Singapore. According to the preliminary consultation document, research conducted by the French Commission for Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy (CEA), through the National Solar Energy Institute (INES), found that “this technology is now at a mature stage of development and is ready for technology transfer and production at scale. industrial.

According to the CNDP, the Norwegian manufacturer intends to take advantage of the raising of the objectives of the French energy strategy, the multi-year energy program (PPE) in the field of photovoltaics, which aims to double solar production capacity in three years and quadruple in eight years.

The arrival of the Scandinavian manufacturer is expected in a region affected by the economic crisis, with the closure of a factory where Daimler-Benz produced its Smart car. The project is expected to create some 1,800 jobs, especially during the construction phase.

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