OREANDA-NEWS. GDF SUEZ through La Compagnie du Vent (a 60%-owned subsidiary) and La Compagnie Nationale du Rhone (49.97%) has just been chosen to develop 10 solar photovoltaic panel projects, ground-based or on car park shelters, after a national bid to tender. GDF SUEZ is pleased with this announcement, which attests to the quality of the projects submitted to the government and the relevance of its development model.

These 10 projects totaling a combined power of 53.35 MWc confirm GDF SUEZ's goal of operating 200 MWc in France by 2016. To date, the Group has 149 MWc of photovoltaic panels in operation, under construction or in advanced development in France.

Four of the 10 projects have trackers technology (photovoltaic panels installed on mobile structures following the movement of the sun), two use concentration photovoltaic panels (using a magnifying-glass effect on the panels to concentrate the sun's rays even more) to produce 50% of their power and four are installed on top of car park shelters. Construction is scheduled for 2014-2015 with operation set to begin in 2015-early 2016.

GDF SUEZ, La Compagnie du Vent and La Compagnie Nationale du Rhone intend to actively contribute to the development of a job-creating industry in France. The projects chosen as part of this bid to tender are outstanding examples of dialogue, respect for the environment and the involvement of local players:

Close, regular collaboration with local authorities and government agencies to encourage maximum acceptance on the local level.

Development of diversified projects geared to each local area, with no environmental impact and no land-use conflicts, in particular agricultural.

Each project uses manufacturing companies in France. For example, all the photovoltaic modules chosen will be made in France.

This successful bid attests GDF SUEZ's competitiveness in photovoltaic solar power and strengthens the Group's development ambitions, especially in the area of renewable energy. GDF SUEZ is France's leader in onshore wind turbines with 1,255 MW installed and number two in hydroelectric power with 3,824 MW installed.