Siemens Energy has installed a turnkey photovoltaic (PV) plant on the roof of the Siemens Healthcare x-ray systems manufacturing plant in Forchheim. After a planning and construction time of less than three months, the unit went into service today. The solar power installation will generate more than 750 megawatt-hours of climate-friendly electricity per year. The solar modules' high efficiency makes the output of the power generating plant around one third higher than that of customary units of a comparable size. Thanks to advanced technology, the installation generates the maximum power yield per unit of available surface area.
"We are not only successful on the market with our green technologies, we also use them ourselves to make an important contribution to protecting the environment and our climate," says Barbara Kux, new Chief Sustainability Officer and member of the Siemens Group Executive Management. Photovoltaics, the direct conversion of solar energy into electric power, is one of the key technologies for a climate-compatible power supply. High growth rates of 20 percent per year are forecast for the photovoltaics market for the coming years. Investment in photovoltaic plants worldwide is thus set to increase ten-fold, from currently 14 billion to 144 billion euros by 2020.
"The solar power plant in Forchheim is an important flagship project for us. With the solar modules providing an electrical efficiency of over 18 percent, the unit is extremely powerful and profitable," says René Umlauft, CEO of the Renewable Energy Division. "We are going to rapidly expand our solar business. As general contractors, we are focused on engineering and implementing large photovoltaic installations for customers from industry and the power business." Solar installations are a part of the Siemens environment portfolio, with which the Group achieved revenue of 19 billion euros in fiscal 2007/2008. By 2011, Siemens wants to turn over around 25 billion euros in sales with its environment portfolio and at the same time make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The solar plant is operated by Siemens Real Estate. Siemens Energy designed and constructed the photovoltaic system and was also responsible for commissioning. Siemens likewise provided the funding for the plant and supplied the power inverters, the switchgear and transformers and connected the system up to the local power grid. Around 3,600 monocrystalline solar modules with a rating of 225 Wp each were supplied by Sunpower Solar and are among the most powerful of their kind.