Lazer Floating Solar Power Plant, the first of its kind in France, Unveiled

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The Lazer floating solar power plant, the first of its kind in France, has been inaugurated by EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the EDF Group.

The plant is located on the reservoir at the Lazer Dam hydropower plant and is operated by EDF. The facility represents a milestone, combining photovoltaic and hydroelectric power generation at a single site. Furthermore, with a total installed capacity of 20 MWp, the plant doubles the renewable electricity generation capacity of the site.

It features over 50,000 solar panels. Thus, the Lazer floating solar power plant can supply enough electricity to meet the annual consumption needs of 12,500 people. This significant contribution aligns with France’s target of achieving 100 GW of solar energy capacity by 2050.

The solar power plant complements the hydropower scheme, particularly during summer months when the Lazer reservoir water is primarily used for crop irrigation. The facility’s anchor and float systems enable it to adapt to fluctuations in the reservoir water level without affecting its operation.

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Lazer Floating Solar Power Plant to Operate for Approximately 30 years

Selected as a winning candidate in the French Energy Regulatory Commission’s call for proposals in 2018, the project was launched in 2017. In 2021, a successful participatory financing campaign allowed the local population to invest €179,000 in the project.

Construction of the solar power plant began the same year, with geotechnical studies and the installation of anchors. Photovoltaic panels were assembled on floats, grouped into “islets,” and transported by boat to their final location. The floating solar power plant is expected to have an operational lifespan of approximately 30 years.

Bruno Bensasson, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice President of Renewable Energies, expressed pride in the opening of the Lazer floating solar power plant. He also highlighted the project’s significance in showcasing complementary expertise. This is as well as the innovative capacity of the EDF Group.

EDF Renewables successfully brought this pioneering facility to fruition. This draws upon their international experience, including constructing four floating solar power plants in Israel and the USA. The project also contributes to France’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. This is by combining two sources of renewable electricity generation in one location.