France’s Carbon says it has decided to build a 1.5 billion euro ($1.6 billion) solar energy production facility in Fos-sur-Mer, France.
French manufacturer Carbon said its heterojunction solar module plant in Fos-sur-Mer in the Bouches-du-Rhône department of southern France will be fully operational by 2025. Once completed, it will have an annual production capacity of 5 GW of solar cells and 3.5 GW of PV modules.
Carbon said it considered 15 sites across France for the project. It will build the factory on a site that benefits from direct road, rail, river and sea links. The site is located in the heart of an industrial area that implements an incentive policy that encourages the establishment of sustainable industrial projects.
“Carbon’s announcement comes at a key moment,” said Transitional Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher. “France and Europe need to quickly reposition themselves in the solar value chain so they don’t switch from one dependency to another.”
The plant is scheduled to start production in mid-2024, with plans for full operation in mid-2025. It will have three production buildings that focus on wafers, cells and modules. It manufactures products based on either interdigitated back contact (IBC) or tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) technology.
The French research institutes CEA-Lite, INES and IPVF support Carbon in cooperation with the German research center ISC Konstanz. The manufacturer’s goal is to reach a production capacity of 30 GW by 2030.
The EUR 1.5 billion investment is financed by a combination of equity, public funds and bank financing. The shareholders have already committed almost 5 million euros to the project, which is now in the initial fundraising phase and will be completed by the end of the first half of this year.