The Lazer floating solar power plant comprises over 50,000 solar panels, with a total installed capacity of 20 MWp (megawatts peak). By supplying sufficient electricity to meet the annual consumption needs of 12,500 people, the facility will help France to meet its target of 100 GW of solar energy capacity by 2050.
The solar power plant complements the hydro power scheme, particularly in the summer months, by continuing to supply electricity when the water from the Lazer reservoir is used primarily for crop irrigation. The facility's anchor and float systems allow it to adapt to variations in the reservoir water level, with no impact on its operation.
Launched in 2017, the project was selected as a winning candidate in the call for proposals by the French Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission de la Régulation de l’Energie) in 2018. A participatory financing campaign was successfully launched in 2021, allowing the local population to invest a total of €179,000. Construction of the solar power plant itself began in 2021, with the performance of geotechnical studies and the placement of the anchors. The photovoltaic panels were then assembled on their floats, launched onto the water in groups (known as “islets”), and towed by boat to their final location. The floating solar power plant has a scheduled operating lifetime of around 30 years.
EDF Renewables in France’s Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region
The new plant boosts EDF Renewables’ presence in the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region, where five new solar power plants, including Lazer, will enter service in 2023. The new plants will join five facilities already in operation, increasing EDF Renewables’ solar generation capacity in the region to a total of 85 MW. EDF Renewables is also building France's first pilot floating offshore wind farm, which will be installed 17 km from the coast at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône in south-eastern France.