- Carbon has selected Fos-sur-Mer in France as the location for its 1st solar gigafactory
- Located near GPMM, it will be built for €1.5 billion investment and create over 3,000 direct jobs
- The new fab will produce TOPCon and IBC solar panels using n-type silicon wafers
- By 2030, it aims to set up several gigafactories in Europe to produce 30 GW of wafers, 20 GW cells and 15 GW PV modules
French solar technology company Carbon has zeroed in on Fos-sur-Mer near Grand Port Maritime de Marseille (GPMM) in France to host its maiden PV products gigafactory having 5 GW annual solar cell and 3.5 GW solar module production capacity that’s scheduled to come online by 2025-end and gradually ramped up in 2026.
For this gigafactory, carbon says it is entering a public consultation phase through the French National Commission for Public Debate (CNDP).
This will be the company’s 1st gigafactory and will cost an investment of €1.5 billion, creating more than 3,000 direct and sustainable jobs in the territory. It will cover around 60 hectares of land in Région Sud that has been selected for its proximity to direct road, rail, river and sea links.
Carbon says the location was selected after an in-depth study of nearly 15 sites across the European nation. The new fab at Fos-sur-Mer will include a silicon ingot foundry, workshops for cutting n-type silicon wafers, several clean rooms for solar cell manufacturing and module assembly workshops, along with logistics warehouses.
Production will focus on n-type wafers in M10 or G12 formats in both mono- and bifacial modules catering to residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial segments along with shade houses, ground-mounted power plants, agrivoltaics and floating PV segments, among others.
Carbon had announced its plans for a 5 GW fab in France in March 2022 to produce TOPCon and IBC solar modules with ISC Konstanz Becquerel Institute’s aid. ISC Konstanz says it is providing Carbon its Toucan TOPCon technology and Zebra/polyZebra IBC technology (see ISC Konstanz To Help French Solar Gigafab Go TOPCon).
IBC solar panels, says Carbon, are particularly suited for integration into vehicles (VIPV) and building (BIPV).
It doesn’t plan to stop here though. According to its long-term ambitious plans, Carbon will produce and market 30 GW of wafers, 20 GW cells and 15 GW PV modules by building several gigafactories in Europe that will create more than 10,000 direct jobs.
Carbon says its objective is ‘to develop in Europe, and in particular in France, an industry integrating the core of the value chain to produce and market on a large-scale photovoltaic silicon wafers, cells and modules that are competitive, reliable, durable, high-yield and with a very low-carbon content’.
“This announcement represents an important step for our industrial project,” said Carbon’s President and Co-Founder Pierre-Emmanuel Martin. “Now, the matter is to build an exemplary plant as quickly as possible, with our partners and in collaboration with all the players in the Region, whom we warmly thank for their vigilance and trust.”
Carbon’s solar plans are also good news for PV manufacturing in France, which recently experienced some setbacks in this regard. In October 2022, it became public that Maxeon Solar shut down its solar PV manufacturing facility in France’s Porcelette citing challenging price environment (see Maxeon Solar’s French Production Line Discontinued). The factory closure in France happened despite being selected in the small scale EU Innovation Fund, whereas Maxeon is now proceeding with its US manufacturing plans. In Dec. 2022, Norway based solar module producer REC Group decided to put its plans to realize a heterojunction (HJT) solar panel factory with 4 GW cumulative annual capacity in France ‘on hold due to various changes in market conditions’ (see REC Group’s French Heterojunction Factory Plans ‘On Hold’). The project was one of the winners of the European Commission’s 2ndInnovation Round in July 2022 (see REC Group’s French Plans Win EU Funding).
TaiyangNews recently concluded our Cell Production Equipment and Processing Materials Conference where various new technologies were discussed at length, including both TOPCon and heterojunction (HJT). Conference summary and video recordings of presentations are available on our website.