LightSource bp, a joint venture between Lightsource and bp, is planning to develop 1GW of solar power capacity in France by 2026.

The company aims to develop several large-scale ground-mount solar farms to achieve this target.

As part of this initiative, Lightsource bp intends to participate in public tenders and offer companies sustainable energy under power purchase agreements.

Lightsource bp Europe and Asia-Pacific CEO Kareen Boutonnat said: “France represents a major challenge for us.

“Our ambition, with this move, is to take advantage of our experience acquired elsewhere in the world, at a key moment for France.

“France is committed to integrating at least 100GW of solar energy into its energy mix by 2050, so our entry comes at the right time.”

Lightsource bp is also establishing its headquarters in Aix-en-Provence, France, with Raphaël Colas to act as the unit’s head.

From its new headquarters, the company aims to offer services for the whole lifecycle of solar energy projects, including site selection, financing, permitting, long-term management of production sites, and sale of electricity.

Colas said: “We will invest in projects at various stages of development. Some will be developed from scratch, others will be co-developed with partners.

“We will also invest in projects that are in the process of being appraised or that have already obtained all the necessary permits.

“For us, each of these projects, throughout France, will have the local economy at its core: we operate our production sites for an average of 30 years, generating economic growth and sustainable jobs for the regions concerned.”

In February this year, Lightsource bp signed agreements with Solar IT and TEP Renewables for developing photovoltaic (PV) projects in Italy with 400MWp of combined capacity.

The company aims to further bolster its presence in the Italian renewable sector through its partnerships with these firms.