Germany is adding to its reputation as the world's solar energy leader with the completion of a 27-acre rooftop project near Mannheim. The system, built by Wirsol on the Pfenning Logistics distribution center in Haddesheim, has an installed capacity of 8.1 megawatts, enough to power 1,846 homes. It is Germany’s largest rooftop solar plant and one of the biggest in the world.
“We are happy that we can now partially generate electricity by ourselves,” said Karl-Martin Pfenning, owner and managing partner of the Pfenning group. “With the photovoltaic installation we can annually save up to 5, 171 tons of CO2.”
The project features 33,096 Yingli solar panels. Wirsol says the installation was expected to produce about 7,005 megawatt-hours of energy a year, giving the installation an 11 percent capacity factor.
Germany's position at the front of the solar energy race is curious in the sense that the country really doesn't get a lot of sunlight. In fact, its annual solar resources are roughly comparable to Alaska’s. Pretty much every other region in the continental US has greater solar potential. Meanwhile Germany has five times as much solar power than the US. It just goes to show that the right mix of policy and incentives can go a long way in launching the clean energy industry into the 21st century--and beyond.
Photo via Wirsol