Renault installs solar PV systems at six French production sites

7 Nov 2012

Auto giant Renault is claiming to have taken the lead in the automotive industry by installing 40 hectares of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to power up six of its French production sites with cleaner energy.

The automaker has announced it is starting to generate electricity from 40 hectares of solar PV panels at six of its production sites in France from this week. The panels are located at its Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly, Sandouville and Cléon sites, covering delivery and shipping centres and employee parking areas.

According to Renault, the panels cover 400,00 sq metres in total – the equivalent of 60 soccer pitches – making the system the largest in the automotive industry to date.

The company said that, combined, the panels will have 59MW of solar power capacity, enough to produce 52,600 MWh of electricity each year.

Renault also said the installations will help it lower its CO2 emissions by 200 tonnes annually.

As well as this, Renault said the panels will also act as canopies, limiting storm damage to new cars before they leave its production sites.

Next on the agenda is to install up to 100,000 sq metres of solar PV panels at Renault’s Valladolid and Palencia plants in Spain via an agreement with Cenit Solar. Renault is also planning to kit out its Busan site in South Korea with 300,000 sq metres of panels by the end of this year.

The company is also carrying out feasibility studies to install similar solar PV systems at plants in Slovenia, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Romania

Solar photovoltaic panels image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic