Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, the largest vertically integrated solar panel manufacturer in the world, known as "Yingli Solar", announced on November 24th that it has signed a landmark agreement to supply 120 MW of YGE 72 Cell solar panels for a 300 MW project in France. Upon completion this will be the largest solar power park in Europe.
According to the agreement, Yingli Solar will ship more than 393,000 multicrystalline panels between December 2014 and June 2015. The solar park located in Cestas in the South West of France, covering 250 hectares of land divided in 25 solar plants, is expected to be connected to the grid in October 2015.
The 360 million Euro project is being developed by Neoen, a leading independent French power producer. For the engineering and construction, Neoen and the project's other investors contracted with a consortium of local companies, including Eiffage-Clemessy and Schneider Electric.
"One important step for a project of such immense proportions is to gain the trust of investors and banks, which involves choosing the right partners. We are confident that our decision to work with Yingli, well recognized for their reliable services will help us to meet the challenging project program while ensuring the long term performance of the plants," said Mr. Patrick de Labrusse, Cestas Project Director, Eiffage-Clemessy.
Yingli Solar's high efficiency panels will comprise more than one third of the overall project. They will be mounted in an east-west orientation to boost the system's overall power density given their layout.
The developer has worked hard on multiple system optimizations and plant design in order to increase the project's profitability and competitiveness. As a result, the plant will provide electricity at 105 Euro per MWh, which is below the price of the United Kingdom's new nuclear electricity, for example. By driving down the cost of solar electricity, the project clearly demonstrates the increasing competitiveness of solar PV against traditional energy sources.
"We are honored to be part of this milestone project in the European PV market, and to be delivering a promising model that is driven by profitability and cost-competitiveness rather than dependence on public incentives," commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Yingli Green Energy. "Reaching grid parity is a reality now and we are pleased to partner with innovative European companies such as Neoen and Eiffage-Clemessy – they set a high standard and work hard every day to build a low-carbon economy across Europe."