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Saturday, 15 October 2011

St. Charles, France, A Worldwide Heavyweight Solar Energy Pole

That's it, it’s done! The idea which was conceived back in 2007 has now become a reality that radiates its 97,000 photovoltaic tiles placed on the roofs of the Society of St. Charles, France. At first, it was just a crazy daring bet buoyed by the boom in the solar energy scene and the local track. This idea has been made possible after a huge investment of around 55 million euros, negotiated and approved during a financial crisis by 72 owners. Not bad, huh?.

That was a master stroke that has definitively Perpignan put on the world map of solar energy.  This plant, the first of its size ever built in the world, now produces the equivalent of 10% of the electricity consumption of the city of Perpignan. No less! Visitors from around the world come to witness this technological green peak. Now besides the Eiffel Tower, France has this!

There are many manufacturers of solar energy around the globe that insist on visiting the site, as indicated by George Jordan, CEO of Saint-Charles International. "The Japanese, Germans, the Swiss have already contacted. This week we welcome American and Algerian delegations to present the solar platform," he enthuses. For beyond technical innovation, this major project does also shine and brighten the image of the first European platform for distribution of fruits and vegetables. 

This was definitely an achievement to be proud of. André Joffre, President of the competitiveness cluster Derbi (Development Of Renewable Energy In Buildings And Industry), partner of St. Charles in the creation of the plant. "This project is awesome in every sense of the word. It features a total size of 7 hectares, nine megawatts of power and the fact that these are local businesses that participated, what is remarkable is that St. Charles anticipated the European regulation of positive energy buildings, set in 2020," notes André Joffre, President of Derbi. 

This is a great project that has to be, MUST be remembered. And we don’t have to forget that a Swiss industrialist who had discovered the surface of buildings while consulting Google Earth was the one who immediately decided to start this plant. Legend or reality? We can simply note that he propelled Perpignan at the top of solar energy.

Basma - Green Energy International Correspondent - 15/10/11

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