At 6.30pm yesterday, the Christmas lights on the Champs-Elysées became the first “zero consumption” illuminations in France. Semiconductor materials manufacturer Soitec is helping to offset the 31,000kW consumed by the lights in full by generating electricity at its Themis concentrator PV plant.
Soitec has installed 26 trackers at its solar plant at Targassonne in the Pyrénées, which are capable of supplying 285MW per annum. In 40 days, Soitec will produce the kilowatt hours required to cover the whole period of the Champs-Elysées illuminations.
“We are proud to be participating in this first “zero energy consumption” Christmas illuminations – which means that this is the first time that the power consumed by the Christmas lights will be fully offset by the generation of solar electricity. Our partnership fits perfectly with our commitment to sustainable development and our support for the French solar energy industry,” explained André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, Soitec’s chairman and chief executive officer.