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Holosolis chooses Eastern France for its photovoltaic gigafactory

Europe’s largest photovoltaic gigafactory in Holosolis will soon be built in Sarreguemines, Moselle. Led by the Holosolis consortium, the XXL industrial site will help speed up the energy transition and reduce Europe’s dependence on China, which now produces more than 90% of the photovoltaic modules installed in the European Union.

Holosolis set up its photovoltaic gigafactory in Hambach, Moselle

On May 15, 2023, Holosolis announced the set up in Hambach, in the Sarreguemines Confluences Agglomeration Community, of a photovoltaic panel mega-factory, with a production capacity of 5 gigawatts (GW) per year at cruising speed.

The Sarreguemines plant will produce 10 million photovoltaic panels each year, equivalent to the energy needs of one million homes, and 8% of EU imports of Chinese photovoltaic modules in 2022.

It will start production in 2025 and, at full capacity, from 2027, will employ nearly 1,700 employees, mostly recruited from Eastern France region and the Sarreguemino Basin. A partnership with Pôle Emploi will be established to facilitate the hiring and training of people in precarious situations.

A major environmental transformation project for Eastern France

“We will manufacture the most energy efficient modules, incorporating the latest photovoltaic technologies, with the lowest carbon footprint and the highest social standards. The effects of scale and the automation of the lines will allow for a competitive cost, able to compete with those of the global giants of the sector. Our modules will target three main markets: residential roofing, industrial and commercial roofing, and agro-voltaics,” explains Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers, President of Holosolis.

The company was created by three key players in their respective markets:

  • EIT InnoEnergy, supported by the European Union, one of the largest investors in cleantech and sustainable energy (180 startups in portfolio), initiator of large strategic alliances to build a European industry of electric batteries, green hydrogen, low carbon steel and photovoltaics.
  • the IDEC Group, a major player in French real estate, with a presence in 15 countries and a pioneer in the production of renewable energy integrated in buildings
  • TSE, one of the leading developers and producers of solar energy in France, leader in agrivoltaism.

“Holosolis is part of the European dynamic of reindustrialization of the photovoltaic industry. The international consultation conducted by the Holosolis team, which awarded the first site of the gigafactory to Sarreguemines in France, is a first illustration of this dimension. EIT InnoEnergy is proud to support a new player like Holosolis which will undoubtedly be the first emblematic industrial reference of the European Solar Industrial Alliance that we lead. With its 5 GW of generation, Holosolis will contribute to more than 15% of the ESIA target of 30 GW of annual capacity by 2025, corresponding to 60 billion euros of new annual GDP in Europe and the creation of more than 400,000 new jobs (direct and indirect)”, explains Karine Vernier, CEO France of EIT InnoEnergy.

The choice of Eastern France

Before deciding on the Moselle, Holosolis studied the proposals of 40 sites in 6 countries. The know-how and the availability of manpower, the reputation of French engineers, the quality of the infrastructure and the low-carbon nature of the energy made in France – predominantly nuclear and hydraulic – have tipped the balance in favour of France.

“Moreover, the competent ministries, state services, elected representatives of the Far East and the Sarreguemines agglomeration community have proved to be the fastest and most effective in obtaining permits and administrative authorizations, mobilizing the available grants and subsidies, in addition to European funds, and building recruitment and training solutions”, says Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers.

In Hambach, Holosolis has a 50-hectare site, offering enough space to expand the plant as new technologies and manufacturing capabilities are integrated.

Upstream, Holosolis intends to give priority to European sectors, within the framework of complete traceability, for the supply of glass, frames, encapsulants and other components that go into the composition of a photovoltaic panel. . . The company has even identified European suppliers for its purchases of silicon, the production of which is dominated by China.

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