Power is now pumping from Europe’s largest-ever solar photovoltaic plant, as France’s 300 megawatt Cestas solar project has been connected to the country’s power grid. According to Cleantechnica, connecting the massive project to the grid was no small feat, as it required a total of 25 individual 12 MW connections to get the solar farm linked into the system. The project, located in the Bordeaux region, took about a year from start to this final step and is set for official inauguration on December 1st.
“The Cestas project is full [sic] erected, the mechanical completion has been achieved since September 30, and now it has been fully connected to the grid,” said Cestas consortium director, Patrick de Labrusse, in PV magazine. “We are very satisfied because the consortium has performed very well and we’ve been able to execute what we anticipated to do at the beginning of the contract.”
Cleantechnica notes that as of the Cestas project launch in November 2014, France was lagging behind other European countries – like Germany, Italy and Spain – when it comes to solar power. For example, Germany had a total of 37.5 gigawatts of installed solar power, while france had only 5 GW – or about 1 percent of its electricity demand. The 300 MW from the Cestas PV plant will help significantly boost France’s capacity in the solar realm.
The project dwarves France’s now second-largest plant, the 114 MW Toul-Rosiéres Solar Park, which is owned by the French government and uses a thin-film technology from First Solar.