Rhodia inaugurates one of the largest photovoltaic solar power facilities

Rhodia inaugurates one of the largest photovoltaic solar power facilities
Rhodia announced few days ago that the 12,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels fitted to the roof of its Belle-Etoile facility in Saint-Fons and Feyzin (Rhône) have now been brought into active service.

This ambitious project was carried out in partnership with Solairedirect, one of the leading French producers of photovoltaic electricity, and the OFI Asset Management firm. It forms an integral part of the Group’s strategy in favor of sustainable and responsible growth.

Solar energy is a universally available natural resource that is inexhaustible, creates no pollution and offers an excellent energy balance. Boasting a 2 megawatt-peak capacity, the solar power generating facility will produce 2 million kilowatt-hours per year. This corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of a town of 2,000 inhabitants. Ultimately, the electricity produced by this facility will avoid releasing 1,000 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.

The installation of these solar panels on Rhodia’s warehouses is one of France’s largest solar power projects involving the roof of an industrial building. Work started in December 2010 and the facility is already up and running.

Philippe Rosier, President of Rhodia Energy Services, made the following comment: “This initiative was an immense technical challenge, and we are proud, along with our partners, to have pursued innovation at every level and to have brought this project to a successful conclusion. This facility offers a fine illustration of how we view energy efficiency within Rhodia. It also corresponds perfectly with the “cleantech” strategy adopted by the French Chemical Valley near Lyon.”

Thierry Lepercq, Chairman of Solairedirect, said: “The Belle-Etoile site is one of our largest photovoltaic projects installed on the roofs of factory buildings. It represents an important step that will help us achieve our target of installing photovoltaic panels with a generating capacity of more than 120 megawatts-peak between now and the end of 2011.”

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Rhodia is a world leader in the development and production of specialty chemicals.