TSE is proud to be associated with the construction of the Sarreguemines photovoltaic gigafactory

TSE is proud to be associated with the construction of the Sarreguemines photovoltaic gigafactory

Holosolis chooses France for a photovoltaic gigafactory

The largest European photovoltaic panel factory will soon be opened in Sarreguemines, in Moselle. Led by the Holosolis consortium, the XXL industrial site will contribute to accelerating the energy transition and reducing our dependence on China, which today produces more than 90% of the photovoltaic modules installed in the European Union.

May 15 2023 : Holosolis announces the establishment in Hambach, in the Communauté d'Agglomération Sarreguemines Confluences, of a mega-factory for photovoltaic panels, whose production capacity will amount to 5 gigawatts (GW) per year at a cruising pace. By way of comparison, the largest European solar panel production site, in Catania, Italy, should reach a capacity of 3 GW.

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

It will start production in 2025 and, at full speed, from 2027, will employ nearly 1,700 employees., mainly recruited in the Grand Est region and the Sarreguemin region. A partnership with Pôle Emploi will be set up to facilitate the hiring and training of people in precarious situations.

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

The company was created by three leading players in their respective markets. Starting with EIT InnoEnergy, supported by the European Union, one of the largest investors in cleantechs and sustainable energies (180 startups in the portfolio), initiator of vast strategic alliances to build a European industry of electric batteries, green hydrogen, decarbonized steel and photovoltaic.

On board Holosolis, EIT InnoEnergy has joined forces with the IDEC Group, a major player in French real estate, present in 15 countries, a pioneer in renewable energy production integrated into buildings and TSE, one of the main developers and producers of solar energy in France, a leader in agrivoltaics.

“Holosolis is part of the European dynamic of reindustrializing the photovoltaic sector. The international consultation conducted by the Holosolis team, which awards the first gigafactory site 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 production, Holosolis will contribute to more than 15% of the ESIA objective: annual capacity of 30 GW by 2025, corresponding to 60 billion euros in new annual GDP in Europe and to the creation of more than 400,000 new jobs (direct and indirect).” explains Karine Vernier, CEO France of EIT InnoEnergy.

Before choosing Moselle, Holosolis studied the proposals of 40 sites in 6 countries. The know-how and availability of the workforce, the reputation of French engineers, the quality of the infrastructures, the low-carbon nature of the energy made in France — predominantly nuclear and hydraulic — have tipped the balance in favor of France.

“In addition, the competent ministries, State services, elected officials from Grand Est and the agglomeration community of Sarreguemines proved to be the fastest and most effective in obtaining permits and administrative authorizations, mobilizing available aid and subsidies, in addition to European funds, in addition to European funds, and building recruitment and training solutions.”, indicates Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers.

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

“We will start production using TOPCon technology, which is one of the most advanced and most efficient today. At the same time, we are closely looking at a very promising solution, called tandem, which couples silicon and perovskite within a solar cell, with the effect of a spectacular improvement in energy efficiency. When this innovation reaches maturity, we will need to modify and extend our production lines. We are going to build a scalable, extensible factory capable of adapting very quickly to breakthroughs and technological advances in the photovoltaic market.”, analysis Jan Jacob Boom-Wichers.

Upstream, Holosolis intends to favour European channels, within the framework of complete traceability, for the supply of glass, frames, encapsulants and other elements that go into the composition of a photovoltaic panel... The company has even identified European suppliers for its purchases of silicon, whose production is extremely dominated, here again, by China.

For Mathieu Debonnet and Pierre Yves Lambert, co-directors of TSE,” There are many reasons why we are proud to participate in this project to create a Gigafactory for the production of low-carbon solar panels. First, of course, the location in France, with what this means in terms of jobs but also in terms of skills and energy sovereignty. This location fits well into our electricity production model in the heart of the territories. Then, the very production, which should allow our country and Europe to recreate a real sector and to repatriate technological skills. TSE, whose ambition is to develop 10GW of solar projects within 10 years, will bring to this project its vision, the quality of its know-how, its market experience and its capacity for innovation in a sector that is as essential as it is constantly evolving. By adding this new brick, TSE will control the entire solar energy production value chain ”.

The Sarreguemines photovoltaic plant is in fact part of the RepowerEU plan, launched by the European Union in 2022 to get rid of Russian fossil fuels, by investing massively in renewable energies. The program includes the commissioning, by 2030, of 600 GW of solar energy, compared to 150 GW in 2022.

As China now produces 70% of the photovoltaic panels installed in the world — against 3% for the European Union — there is a great risk of leaving dependence on Russian gas to fall into dependence on Chinese solar energy.

The giant Sarreguemines plant is thus one of these initiatives, carried out within the framework of the European Solar Industrial Alliance (European Solar Industrial Alliance), to reindustrialize Europe at a steady pace and to achieve decarbonization goals that have been increased (— 55% greenhouse gases between 1990 and 2030) and maintain control of its energy destiny.

“The commitment of Holosolis and its teams to develop green energies and decarbonization, while integrating into a logic of European energy sovereignty and independence, seduced us. Innovative and a producer of value, the company will create numerous jobs. Alongside EIT InnoEnergy and TSE, we will support it in its project to industrialize new generation solar panels, both in the development of its business model and in the design and construction of its future production units”, concludes Patrice Lafargue, the president of IDEC Group.

In Sarreguemines, the time has come for solar recovery.

HOLOSOLIS press contact
Isabelle Bigot : PR Manager & Communication
Phone: +33 (0) 6 16 06 91 23isabelle@calliope-event.com