French railway company SNCF to build 1GW of solar PV by 2030

The 1GW solar PV will be installed in carports, rooftops or ground-mounted land owned by French state-owned SNCF. Image: Trina Solar Gottfried Evers.

State-owned French railway company SNCF has created a renewables subsidiary, SNCF Renouvelables, which targets to build 1GW of solar PV by 2030.

This capacity would represent between 15-20% of the company’s actual electricity needs and will be built over 1,000 hectares of its own land. SNCF will use its own assets and land to deploy solar PV in the coming years.

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Work will start this year on approximately 30 different sites, covering ground-mounted solar, rooftop and car parks across France. The last one is in line with the French government’s legislation that requires all large car parks to have solar rooftops in the coming years, in a move to add up to 11GW of solar PV capacity.

In a press release, the company also mentioned its willingness to take part in the construction of a module assembly plant in France, and said it plans to support the development by sourcing its modules through European-made products.

Several module manufacturers have announced plans to build a module assembly plant in France in the coming months/years. Among others are French company Reden Solar with a new line in order to enhance its capacity to 200MW per year by 2024 and PV startup Carbon which plans to build a 5GW/3.5GW cell and module assembly plant in the south of the country.

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