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Solar-powering Saft’s plant in Poitiers in pictures
Find out more about how the teams working on renewables at TotalEnergies fitted solar panels onto the carport rooftops at Saft’s plant in Poitiers, in France, to power it and reduce its environmental impact.
[LOW-CARBON ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTED GENERATION FOR INDUSTRIAL SITES]
[SAFT – POITIERS SITE, FRANCE]
[Lenny Cypel, Saft site manager, Poitiers, France]
Lenny Cypel: Here at Saft’s site in Poitiers, we mainly manufacture batteries for satellites and products for the defense industry and meters. We use a lot of energy in a year and needed to reduce our energy bill.
[Emmanuel Voinier, construction project manager, Total Solar]
Emmanuel Voinier: Total has been active for 40 years across the solar industry value chain, from manufacturing cells to selling solar energy. At Total Solar, we help our customers by addressing their needs and developing tailored solutions for them. We offer distributed energy solutions for production sites, where we install solar panels that generate electricity directly on site.
Lenny Cypel: We decided to install photovoltaic panels here in Poitiers because this energy-intensive site had the space for it. When planning the project with Total Solar, we saw two solutions. First: to install the solar panels directly on site. But since we plan on expanding in the future, we opted for the second solution: to install panels over the parking lot. We work three eight-hour shifts, seven days a week. During the construction, we had to maintain production and ensure employees could still use the parking lot. Now the panels are in service, they generate 1.2 MW a day and up to 1,400 MWh a year. That’s enough to supply more than 200 homes year-round.
[1,400 MWh A YEAR 200 HOMES 2,730 SOLAR PANEL]
Emmanuel Voinier: We installed 2,730 photovoltaic panels, creating 5,500 square meters of covered parking. We used very-high-efficiency SunPower photovoltaic panels with a power density 30% higher than average. It’s a real game-changer for this tight space.
[POWER DENSITY 30% HIGHER ON AVERAGE]
Emmanuel Voinier: We installed 18 inverters that transform direct current into the alternating current used by the site. We also installed a weather station to monitor energy production based on the solar resource. Lastly, to meet Saft’s specific needs, we installed a step-up transformer to increase voltage to 20,000 volts. The solar farm is monitored in real time and our maintenance partners make sure it’s available 24/7.
Lenny Cypel: The response to the panels has been very positive. Employees can park their cars in the shade and we now use energy produced directly on site. Plus, the panels are attractive and really blend into their surroundings.