The warehouses of the platform to distribute fruit and vegetables Saint-Charles International in Perpignan, are now covered by 68 000 m2 of photovoltaic panels. This facility, with a capacity of 8.8 MW, was inaugurated Thursday, October 13, 2011 in the presence of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister of Ecology. It is presented as “the largest solar integrated buildings in the world.” Continuing the project, however, because given the modification of the government’s support for PV.

Saint-Charles International, the first European platform to distribute fruit and vegetables, is now a major producer of green energy.

In two years, asbestos cement sheets that covered the 11 buildings on the site were replaced by 68 000 m 2 of photovoltaic tiles. The plant develops a total power of 8.8 MWp. Its annual production is expected to reach 9.7 MWh or 10% of the needs of the city of Perpignan.

55 million euros – The operation, costing 55 million euros was made ​​by Saint-Charles Solar, a company that combines the operator Akuo Energy, the Deposit and Consignment Office, Solaire France and several owners of warehouses in Saint-Charles International.

“This facility anticipates the buildings of tomorrow, who will present an energy balance, says André Joffre, president of consulting firm Tecsol, architect of the operation. It turns out that the installed PV capacity is the capacity of refrigeration units that equip the warehouses. ”

French technology – components used to cover the buildings are slates of glass, waterproof, manufactured by Saint-Gobain, based on a patent held by Solaire France.

“I came to inaugurate the facility because it implements a French technology,” said Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Minister of Ecology, who has warranted on this occasion the new photovoltaic device support introduced by the government.

The Minister also highlighted the potential of job creation, “If we just make a race for power, we open the door to imports of Chinese signs. If instead, we make a selection on the technology, then we can add value to our patents, our engineers and production sites. I am aware that the transition will be very hard, but it is our responsibility vis-à-vis the French, who pay these expenses through their electricity bills. ”

Local stakeholders are concerned that the system of tendering set up by the government would jeopardize a second phase of the project equipment market Saint-Charles.

The operation, blocked since the moratorium on solar power in December 2010, is to lay 85,000 m 2 of additional panels on buildings in neighboring St. Charles International.

“I’m afraid the price criterion is decisive in the selection of projects, which will penalize local businesses and make an operation like this very difficult to achieve,” said Jean-Paul Alduy, president of the community of agglomeration Perpignan Méditerranée.

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