Casino Group plans an additional 20 megawatts (MW) of high-efficiency photovoltaic panels for solar power installations on its properties in France. The agreement with SunPower, building on the 15-megawatt contract between the two companies last year, will enable the French retail chain to produce renewable electricity on under-utilized roof space and parking areas.
SunPower will supply Casino with its E19 Series solar panels, claiming a world record efficiency of 19 percent or greater. The modules feature larger, more powerful all-back contact solar cells that deliver three percent more surface area per cell, which boosts panel efficiency by reducing unutilized space, according to SunPower. Installations are expected to be completed by the end of 2011.
The panels also have an anti-reflective coating that allow for more diffuse off-angle light to be captured, generating more energy per rated watt than a conventional solar panel.
The combined 35 megawatt agreement will result in solar power systems at 18 of the company’s properties. In-store monitoring displays will provide customers and employees with information on how much solar power is being generated on site.
SunPower systems have been installed on facilities operated by the Bon Preu Esclat supermarket chain in Spain, and on multiple rooftops for U.S.-based retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart Stores, Macy’s and Lowe’s.