Lightsource bp sets up in France, targeting 1GW solar pipeline by 2026

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The company plans to participate in tenders and sign PPAs with companies in France. Image: Lightsource bp.

Solar developer Lightsource bp is setting up operations in France as it looks to reach a 1GW pipeline of large-scale PV projects in the country by 2026.

With an offering spanning the full lifecycle of solar projects – site selection, financing, permitting, long-term management and sale of electricity – Lightsource bp France intends to participate in public tenders and sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) with companies.

The business will invest in projects at various stages of development, with some developed from scratch and others alongside partners, according to Raphaël Colas, who has been appointed as Lightsource bp’s country head for France.

Previously responsible for EPC sales and business development at ENGIE Solar, Colas will lead Lightsource bp France from its headquarters in Aix-en-Provence, in the south of the country.

With France committing to having at least 100GW of solar by 2050, now is the right time for Lightsource bp to enter the country, said Kareen Boutonnat, the company’s CEO for Europe and APAC.

“Our ambition, with this move, is to take advantage of our experience acquired elsewhere in the world, at a key moment for France,” she added.

The expansion means London-headquartered Lightsource bp now has operations in 18 countries as the company bolsters its development efforts to reach its goal of bringing 25GW of solar PV to financial close by the end of 2025. It has developed 5.4GW of solar to date.

While Western Europe, the US, Brazil and Australia are expected to play significant roles in contributing to that target, the company is also looking to grow in Asian markets such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Korea, CEO Nick Boyle told PV Tech earlier this year.

After France reached 13.2GW of installed solar in 2021, PV trade association Enerplan recently called for the country to triple its solar fleet by 2025 as it recommended that auction volumes be increased and project permitting procedures be shortened.

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