Aix-en-Provence solar power plant
Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, FRANCE
Modules: GCL-P6/72 DH 380 bifacial
production / year
Discover the Aix-en-Provence solar power plant in pictures
During our visit to the plant at the end of June, we took the first images of the plant. Discover it from every angle thanks to the FPV drone images.
NEOEN converted an industrial wasteland into a solar energy source generated with bifacial technologies
For this 1.7MW project, NEOEN rehabilitated an old limestone quarry. This quarry, active during more than 40 years, ceased operation at the end of the 1990s.
By transforming this wasteland into a source of income and photovoltaic electricity, NEOEN takes part in the ecological transition process supported by the government through the CRE’s calls for tenders.
Compare the performance of bifacial and monofacial technologies
Due to its geographic location and the fact that it is at the foot of a limestone cliff, the plant benefits from ideal sunlight and a high level of albedo, perfectly suited to bifacial technologies.
For the supply of modules, Neon chose modules equipped with cells that can capture sunlight through their front face as well as their back face.
Thus, the irradiance reflected by the quarry is used and generates additional electricity production that can range from 5% to 10% depending on the albedo of the site and the configuration of the plant.
Bifaciality is a relatively recent technology in photovoltaics but it’s becoming main-stream. It is a natural choice that NEOEN made to invests in this technology and use it in some of its power plants.
Developing a bifacial project requires more sophisticated modeling of the production: the latter is now also a function of the exploitable albedo, itself a function of the configuration of the plant.
State-of-the-art engineering in the development and design phase of the plant is therefore necessary to get the most out of it.
For this project, NEOEN, supported by SYNAPSUN (sales representative in France of GCL) has opted for bifacial modules “GCL P6 / 72DH low-carbon” and reserved two tables equipped with monofacial modules “GCL P6 / 72H low- carbon”.
The monofacial modules have been carefully selected based on their electrical criteria when leaving the factory to allow a meaningful comparison of both monofacial and bifacial technologies. The two monofacial tables located within the plant will allow NEOEN to refine the predictive models of the yields of its bifacial plants.
All the modules come from a supply chain in which all the manufacturing steps (from polysilicon to the module, including ingots, wafers and cells) have been the subject of a validated life cycle analysis. by ADEME and whose carbon rating, certified by Certisolis, is among the lowest on the market. (read our series of articles “Carbon footprint”)
A project open to local investors
To help financing the installation, local collection has been initiated through the lendosphere platform. Crowdfunding made it possible to involve the citizens of the Bouches-du-Rhône department where the project is located as well as neighboring departments (Gard, Var, Vaucluse). The fundraising brought together 61 bondholders rewarded at the annual rate of 5% for a total amount of € 100,000.
Commissioning and production of the solar power plant
The plant was commissioned in JUNE 2020 and is expected to have a production of around 2,500 MWh / year and reduce nearly 700 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year (endosphere data).
NEOEN supports SYNAPSUN in its R&D projects
In direct contact with manufacturers, SYNAPSUN collects the manufacturing data of the modules. Thanks to the partners like NEOEN, who allow us having access to their power plants, we are carrying out work aimed at mapping the power stations with drone, then positioning and geo-referencing each solar module. And its serial number.
The plan will serve as an interactive support combining data collected during manufacturing (flash tests, EL images, quality control reports during production, etc.) on which layers of thermography, orthography-photography, infrared images and other test reports carried out during operation will be added.
The goal is to offer our customers, beyond modules, a traceability tool that will enhance their assets and allow more precise and optimized monitoring of the degradation of modules. The tool, which will serve as a “health record” of the plant, will help operators optimize and automate their operations while making maintenance management easier.
This R&D project is a strategic component in SYNAPSUN’s added value. Ultimately, it will be the link between the industrial and operating activities of SYNAPSUN.
Founded in 2008, NEOEN is the leading independent French producer of renewable energies and one of the most dynamic in the world. A pure player in renewable energies, the company is present in the solar, wind and storage energy sectors, with cutting-edge expertise in each of these sectors.
NEOEN is involved in all stages of its projects: design, financing, project management and operations. The company maintains over 85% control of its assets and operates them on its own behalf.
capacity in operation and under construction on 12/31/2019
target power in 2021
The SYNAPSUN advantages
For your ground-based plants, we support you in a direct contractual relationship with manufacturers. We act on their behalf to serve you locally. You have better control over your supplies and can capitalize on the information necessary for the valuation of your assets.
SYNAPSUN develops offers specifically designed to meet the most demanding requirements of the French market.
We are particularly targeting the CRE’s Call for Tender segment with a whole range of dedicated solutions.
We support solar power plant operators:
• Verifying the performance of your modules in operation,
• Optimizing your assets and improve their PR,
• Managing after-sales and material replacement.
GCL is the world’s leading manufacturer in the upstream industrial chain (polysilicon, ingots, wafers) and in the top 10 downstream (cells and modules). The group has exclusive technologies for the production of low carbon PV modules.
SYNAPSUN is a service company that occupies a strategic position at the border between industry, development, construction of projects and management of solar assets.
SYNAPSUN helps manufacturers in the development of product offers dedicated to the French market supported by local SYNAPSUN services in order to adapt the offer to the specific needs of each project.
In parallel, SYNAPSUN advises developers in their applications for AO CRE, EPC / builders / installers in the execution of their projects and offers maintenance and optimization services for solar power plants in production.
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