Leclerc: hypermarket car park goes solar

Case studies / Friday, September 29th, 2017

The E.Leclerc hypermarket in Carcassonne, France, now has Fonroche solar lighting installed throughout its parking facilities. Here’s how we approach this kind of project.

All areas of this retail car park are now brightly lit by our solar-powered solution.

Laurent Boissonade, manager of the E.Leclerc hypermarket and retail centre in Carcassonne, didn’t just want to upgrade the parking facilities — he was keen to go one step further by opting for a more environmentally responsible and sustainable solution.


  • Install lighting for the hypermarket’s parking facilities, access roads and Auto Centre
  • Provide powerful illumination to enhance the shopping experience, with a smartly designed solution

“Our decision to install solar lighting reflects our broader commitment to the environment, as well as the need to reduce our operating costs,” says the retail boss.

Project contributors:

  • Customer: E.Leclerc hypermarket in Carcassonne, SW France
  • Architects: GAM-A (based in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, S. France)
  • Consultants: Min’Earth (experts in energy efficiency)
  • Solar lighting experts: Fonroche Lighting

Project design

Our in-house design team was tasked with determining the optimum number of streetlights and power ratings to meet the customer’s requirement and comply with the relevant lighting standards.

The first step was to computer generate a typical year in terms of local sunlight levels and temperatures. To do this, the team analyzed 17,500 pieces of weather data recorded over a 10-year period.

Next, our researchers calculated the solar panel output and battery charge level for each day of the year.

Here, we’ve taken Carcassonne on 20 February as an example.

We then determined the optimum lighting configuration for the car park, based on the customer’s need, the various components of the solution and the solar potential of the site.

We also did a ‘worst-case scenario’ calculation to ensure there’s enough power on the shortest and lowest sunlight days of the year.

On the basis of this survey work, each unit was specified as follows:

  1. 1 Fonroche Power365 battery rated at 936 Wh
  2. 1 Fonroche PV solar panel rated at 270 Wc
  3. 1 LED array rated at 80 W nominal

Photometric survey

The purpose of a photometric survey is to determine which models in the product range are the most suitable and where to locate them, using a detailed map of the site.

On the basis of these surveys, we specified the optimal lighting solution for all areas of the parking facilities, in compliance with the EN 13201 lighting standard.

A false colour study

Project delivery

Ultimately, 34 off-grid solar streetlights from our Smartlight range were installed at the E.Leclerc hypermarket in Carcassonne to illuminate and improve security across the parking complex, access roads and pedestrian walkways.

  • 19 Smartlights with 8-metre pole and dual crosspiece
    10 with timber poles from Aubrilam on the car park
  • 11 Smartlights with 8-metre pole and single crosspiece on the car park
  • 4 Smartlights with 4-metre pole and single crosspiece on the walkways to the Auto Centre

Thanks to this solar lighting solution, the E.Leclerc hypermarket will save 742,000 kWh of electricity over 20 years — that’s enough to power 275 homes — while considerably reducing its greenhouse emissions.

Key benefits

  • For shoppers at the hypermarket:
    • Dependable, high-performance lighting
    • Better safety and security across the car park and access roads
    • An enhanced shopping experience
  • For E.Leclerc Carcassonne:
    • A competitive differentiator, with a 100% off-grid solar lighting solution for its parking facility
    • Involvement in the production of green sustainable energy
    • Improved customer satisfaction, with a better overall shopping experience
    • Lower electricity consumption and other savings (no product maintenance, no electricity bill)
    • Reduced greenhouse emissions


“It’s a great achievement for the E.Leclerc hypermarket and its partners, which I’ve no doubt will pave the way for further projects of this kind in the years ahead,” says Laurent Boissonade.