EDF Renouvelables expects to switch on a solar array at a nuclear plant in France in early 2023. It will rely on 22,000 solar modules. The Creys-Malville nuclear plant, which was shut down in 1997, is set to be dismantled by 2024.

EDF Renouvelables, the French renewable energy unit of Paris-based EDF, has started building a 12 MW solar park at its Creys-Malville nuclear plant in Creys-Mépieu, in the Isere department in central-southern France.

The facility will feature 22,000 solar modules, said the company, noting that it will start to deploy them in the summer. The solar plant is expected to be operational in early 2023.

“By carrying out the construction of a PV park and the deconstruction of Superphenics side by side, we are demonstrating once again the complementarity of energies and the company’s ability to ensure the complete life cycle of all its industrial installations,” said the director of the 1.24 GW nuclear reactor, Mathieu Ponnet.

The project is part of EDF’s solar plan aimed at deploying 30 GW of PV in France.

The Superphenix reactor was commissioned in 1986. It was shut down permanently in 1997, after several years of difficult operations and much public protest. The facility was closed by former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospen due to its high costs, safety issues and several court cases. It is now expected to be dismantled by French conglomerate Areva by 2024.