The small town of Torreilles, near Perpignan in the Pyrénées-Orientales, and possibly better known as the commune behind the beach holiday resort Torreilles-Plage, is set to become the first place in France to have a solar energy power plant.
Small photovoltaic panels are commonly seen on traffic signs, parking meters and other standalone devices. Here an area of 6 hectares (15 acres) will have 17,300 square metres of panels capturing the sunlight to give 2.3 megawatts of power. They are predicting an annual production of enough electricity for the thousand or so homes in the commune.
The planning permission should be submitted in December 2007 and the first phase of work should start in June 2008. The second phase should increase the production to be enough for almost 6,000 homes. Poweo hopes to have a eventual capacity of 600 megawatts from renewable energy by 2012.