EDF, First Solar to build French solar panel plant
EDF Energies Nouvelles and U.S. solar panel maker First Solar Inc said on Thursday they will build France's largest solar panel manufacturing plant at an investment cost of 90 million euros ($128 million).
The plant will initially be able to produce panels with a total capacity of around 100 megawatts, enough to provide electricity to 50,000 homes per year.
At full production, projected for the second half of 2011, the plant will employ more than 300 people. "This investment is a real turning point for the solar energy industry and confirms that France is more than ever in a position to play a leading role globally," French Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told a news conference.
EDF Energies Nouvelles, which is 50 percent-owned by EDF, has agreed to finance half of the capital expense and plant start-up costs and will get the plant's output for the first 10 years.