First Solar has secured a contract from Photosol to deliver photovoltaic (PV) modules totalling 106.5MW for 14 projects in France.

The projects will be developed and owned by Photosol and are part of a third procurement round started by France's Commission de Régulation de l'Energie.

The plants will be located across central and southwest France and will range between 4.5MW to 43MW in capacity.

The largest of the project will be located in Burgundy. Jayme da Costa Energie, a French subsidiary of Jayme da Costa Group, is providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for all the projects.

All the solar plants, when completed are expected yield a total supply of about 134,000MWh of electricity to the French grid. This is enough to power about 23,000 French households and offset about 5,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

First Solar claims that its PV modules have a lower carbon footprint of their own and have fastest energy payback time and lowest water use compared to other solar technologies.

When fully installed and commissioned, the projects can add about 155MW to Photosol’s portfolio, while increasing First Solar’s installed capacity in Europe to about 4.5GW.

Photosol managing director David Guinard said: "As France continues to drive a sustained renewable energy program to meet its CO2 reduction goals, while reliably addressing its energy needs, we see a huge opportunity for utility-scale solar to make a significant contribution by delivering reliable and affordable clean electricity.

"Our decision to select First Solar's thin film modules was not only driven by the cost-competitiveness and proven performance advantage, but also by the significant environmental benefits that its module technology offers."

First Solar Business Development regional head Stefan Degener said: "The progressive French policy on reducing the carbon footprint of its solar energy program has set a new benchmark and serves as a precedent for other countries to follow.

“It is a clear demonstration of how evaluating the environmental footprint can be effectively embedded in a competitive bidding process. We congratulate Photosol on their success, and thank both Photosol and Jayme da Costa for their continued confidence in First Solar and our technology."

Image: First Solar to supply PV modules in France. Photo: Courtesy of dan/