EDF Renewables Starts Construction of Its First Floating Solar Facility in France

PVTIME – EDF Renewables is launching the construction of its first floating photovoltaic facility, which will be built on a reservoir in the Lazer municipality (Hautes-Alpes department). The project will contribute to the achievement of the photovoltaic energy development targets set by the French government. It also fits with the EDF group’s Solar Plan to become a leading player in the sector in France, with a 30% market share by 2035.

The 20 MW-floating solar power facility, which will be built on a reservoir powering of the Lazer hydroelectric plant, will occupy a surface area of 24.5 hectares, around two-thirds of the reservoir’s surface. Project commissioning is scheduled for spring 2022. It will generate enough electricity to cover the annual consumption of 12,500 inhabitants, complementing the broadly comparable output from the hydroelectric plant.

Construction of the Lazer facility is beginning today with geotechnical studies surveying the reservoir’s floor. The requisite anchor systems for the floating panels will be built in spring 2021 followed by installation of the floaters and photovoltaic panels. Around 40 people will work on-site during the 13-month construction period.

An ongoing dialogue has been established with the local population concerning the Lazer project, originally initiated in 2017. Various technical and environmental studies have been conducted to preserve the site’s biodiversity and maintain electricity generation at the Lazer hydroelectric plant.

Nicolas Couderc, EDF Renewables’ Executive Vice-President, France, commented: “We are proud to launch the construction of EDF Renewables’ first floating solar facility on the Lazer reservoir. Thanks to this innovative technology, we will be able to generate both hydroelectricity and solar power at the same reservoir. Combining these two renewable energies will provide an additional asset to meet the government targets for developing renewable energies. The Lazer floating solar facility also contributes to achievement of EDF’s Solar plan.”