An additional 5 MW a year of solar panels will be coming out of France once a proposed PV facility is completed in Toulouse.Toulouse, France – December 19, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Acting on a proposal by TotalFinaElf and in agreement with joint shareholder Electricité de France, Total Energie decided at a Development Committee meeting on December 17 to build a solar panel production plant in Toulouse in 2003. The facility will have a capacity of 5 MW a year, sufficient to equip around 2,500 European households. After announcing the closure of the AZF plant, TotalFinaElf, Grande Paroisse and Atofina pledged to actively support business in Toulouse and to invest to create jobs in the area, in cooperation with local stakeholders. Total Energie, owned 35 percent by TotalFinaElf and 45 percent by Electricité de France, has designed, produced, installed and operated PV systems for 20 years. The output from another plant operated by Total Energie located in South Africa is initially being used in electrification programs for isolated rural communities. With the plant in Toulouse, Total Energie will strengthen its European presence in developing photovoltaic systems connected to the grid. The planned investment in the project is estimated at around €3.5 million (US$3.6 million).