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Renault launches the world’s biggest automotive industry solar roof project

In partnership with Gestamp Solar, Renault is launching the world’s biggest solar energy project in the automotive industry by installing solar roof panels at its French plants.

Solar panels will cover the roofs of the delivery and shipping centers at the Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly and Sandouville sites, and the staff parking lots at Maubeuge and Cléon. The panels will eventually cover a total area of 450,000 m2 (111 acres), offering an installed power capacity of 60 MW (the annual consumption of a town with a population of 15,000).

The project is part of Renault 2016 - Drive The Change, Renault’s strategic plan to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% by 2013 and by a further 10% between 2013 and 2016. By using renewable solar energy, Renault will cut CO2 emissions by 30,000 tonnes per year.

The start date for installation is mid-June 2011 and completion is scheduled for February 2012.



This is a major solar panel field/farm. How will it supply energy 24/7?.


The south of France is pretty sunny.
It makes sense to put solar panels on roofs, facing south etc.
Ditto Italy and Spain.
It makes much more sense to put them there than on cars.


They put it on the grid when the demand is high during the day and if they do night shifts they get if from the grid when demand is low. This arrangement keeps from have to build more power plants and eases up on the transmission network.

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Mahonj there are good arguments for putting the solar cells on the car roof instead of the house roof.

1) The cost of installing solar cells on the car roof can be cut to almost nothing as it is done in a highly controlled factory environment and not on a hand build solar house roof.
2) Some of the solar cell energy is delivered when it is most needed, namely, when you drive in order to increase your range.
3) The EVs battery will deal with the intermittency of the solar cells. Having solar power on the grid is a bad idea in the most northern and southern hemispheres as most of the solar energy is produced at summer time where the grid need it the least and therefore offers very low feed in prices. Wind power makes sense on the grid as it produces more electricity at the winter than during the summer and at much lower costs than solar cells (wind power about 7cents/kWh and solar about 25 cents/kWh.).

Off cause if you park your car inside a garage at home and at work it makes less sense with a solar panel on the car although you still benefit from better range when driving.


Oneupmanship solar energy style. A 60MW solar array on the roof of a car plant? I remember when GM made news putting a 10MW solar array on the roof of their plant in Spain;


Ask your utility what the load profit is, you might see that there is higher power demand M-F 9 am to 5 pm year around. Of course it is higher weeks days during the summer, but business uses a LOT of power and that is when the sun shines as well.

Consider ALL the office buildings with ALL the lighting, computers, copy machines and the rest, then you will understand. Maybe they should put sunroofs in offices and stores, but this is the way it is. If they put solar on the roofs, at least they are supplying SOME of the power they use during those times.


Sunroofs are passee. With a hybrid lighting system; you can put the collector anywhere and pipe the light into any room, not just those directly under the roof.


Oh sure, light pipes have been around for quite a while, but you still need a way to get the light in from the outside and keep the heat out in the summer. Earth homes are built underground with NO windows, but have sunlights in the center with white walls and ceilings that are as bright as if they had dozens of windows.

Imagine ALL the lighting in businesses and stores. At least they use florescent, but imagine if they used sun, light pipes and LED lighting. Imagine how much power they would save and imagine how many new power plants would not be needed because we found new ways to light instead of burning fossil fuels to do so.

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