New generation of sustainable car park solutions: installation of photovoltaic solar canopies

The Thales Group has installed photovoltaic solar canopies over the car park at its Toulouse site to limit the consumption of electricity from the national grid and meet 6% of the site's annual electricity requirements.

Main project's drivers for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

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Energy and resource efficiency

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Energy Decarbonisation

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Energy efficiency improvements

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Improving efficiency in non-energy resources

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Emission removal

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Financing low-carbon issuers or disinvestment from carbon assets

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Reduction of other greenhouse gases emission

Project objectives

Reduce the site's GHG emissions by replacing part of the electricity sourced from the national grid with electricity generated by the photovoltaic solar canopies. Improve well-being of employees and better protect their vehicles.

Detailed project description

8,100 m² of photovoltaic solar canopies have been installed over 640 parking places in the employee car park at the Thales Alenia Space site in Toulouse. The photovoltaic solar canopies meet of 6% of the facility’s annual electricity requirements. The electricity generated is consumed by the site itself.

Emission scope(s)

on which the project has a significant impact

Scope 1

Direct emissions generated by the company's activity.

Scope 2

Indirect emissions associated with the company's electricity and heat consumption.

Scope 3

Emissions induced (upstream or downstream) by the company's activities, products and/or services in its value chain.

Emission Removal

Carbon sinks creation, (BECCS, CCU/S, …)

Avoided Emissions

Emissions avoided by the activities, products and/or services in charge of the project, or by the financing of emission reduction projects.

Scope 2 – Replace part of the electricity sourced from the national grid with electricity generated by the photovoltaic solar canopies.

  • Quantification: 25 tCO2eq/an 

Annual electricity production by the solar panels is estimated at 1,798 MWh/year. The estimated LCA emission factor of the solar panels is 48 kgCO2/MWh.

The average annual emission factor of the French power grid is approximately 62 kgCO2/MWh.

The installation of the solar panels therefore generate savings of approximately 25 tCO2/year.

Key points

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Invested amount


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Starting date of the project

October 2020

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Project localisation

Toulouse, Haute Garonne

Project maturity level

Prototype laboratory test (TRL 7)

Real life testing (TRL 7-8)

Pre-commercial prototype (TRL 9)

Small-scale implementation

Medium to large scale implementation

Economic profitability of the project (ROI)

Short term (0-3 years)

Middle term (4-10 years)

Long term (> 10 years)

Illustrations of the project

By producing green energy for consumption by the Thales site itself, the project contributes to the following SDGs :

  • SDG 7: Clean, affordable energy
  • SDG 13: Climate action

A study is under way for an equivalent project at the Thales Alenia Space site in Toulouse.

Similar initiatives are in progress at other Thales sites in France and other Thales Alenia Space sites in Europe (Cannes in France, Charleroi in Belgium, L’Aquila and Turin in Italy).

The conditions of success of a project of this type are as follows:

  • Maintenance management support and guaranteed annual production rates
  • Ability to resolve technical issues and failures over the long term.

A partnership has been set up with LVS (subsidiary of EDF ENR).

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Contact the company carrying the project

Thales’s other projects :