May 29 (Renewables Now) - French renewables firm Global EcoPower SA (EPA:ALGEP), or GEP, has signed a partnership with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) that will include research on micro-algae cultivation in photovoltaic (PV) greenhouses and on the management and self-consumption of solar energy.
The cooperation will see the construction of a pilot PV greenhouse for trialling micro-algae production at the CEA Tech site in Cadarache and a bigger greenhouse within the energy complex that GEP is currently building in the municipality of Payra sur l'Hers in Aude.
GEP president and chief executive Jean-Marie Santander explained that in Aude the company will build two sets of greenhouses and agricultural buildings with 6.6 MWp of PV panels on the roofs and a 4.9-MWp ground-mounted power plant for self-consumption. There will also be two cogeneration plants for a total electrical capacity of 8.8 MWe.
"Because in parallel we believe in the concept of agro-photovoltaics and the exceptional development of microalgae, we have decided to use the inside of the greenhouses to produce high-quality spirulina," Santander added.
With the help of the CEA Tech teams the company will build a PV phycocyanin extraction unit.