Goodyear Dunlop will not "tyre" of solar power

The renewable energy specialist, juwi Solar, has just completed construction of a solar photovoltaic (PV) array atop the Goodyear Dunlop logistics centre in Philippsburg in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany). The array has a capacity of 7.4 MW and is described by juwi as “the world’s third largest roof top solar power plant”.

Philippsburg in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) is not only the location for the state-of-the-art and extra-efficient Goodyear Dunlop logistics centre for the pan-European distribution of tyres, but is now home to a major new roof-top solar array after the companies PV julist and juwi finished construction of what they describes as “the world’s third largest roof-top solar power plant” on the roof of the tyre warehouse in Philippsburg.

This huge array has a capacity of 7.4 MW capable of producing approximately 7.3 million kWh of clean electricity per annum, which the developers calculate is equivalent to the annual consumption of approximately 1,800 households. The power plant is the largest roof-top solar power plant in Germany.

The general contractor (of PV julist) for the project was juwi Solar GmbH, a subsidiary of the German juwi group from Wörrstadt (Rhineland-Palatine), which explains that only ground-based arrays usually have such high capacities. With a surface area of around 87,000 square metres, 95,500 solar modules generate enough power “to cover the energy requirements of a small town”. In addition, approx. 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions are avoided every year.

“Every day, the sun provides approximately 170,000 terawatt hours of energy. That is approximately 2,850 times the energy required by people around the world. These incredible numbers demonstrate the sun’s potential. We are happy to be able to use this potential with the solar power plant in Philippsburg”, says Juliane Lindner, managing director PV julist.

Huge potential of roof tops

The plant is equipped with thin-film modules produced by First Solar and was connected to the grid at the end of 2010. It is the largest roof-top solar power system so far for juwi as well as for PV julist. The plant in Philippsburg shows the huge potential that roof surfaces of industry and trade buildings have for renewable energy and climate protection. “Companies that use their buildings for energy production observe not only an improved image, but can create additional income. In addition, surfaces are used in an efficient and economic matter“, says Lars Falck, managing director juwi Solar.

“The distribution centre in Philippsburg is one of the world’s largest and state-of-the-art distribution centres for tyres. Due to optimized production and logistical processes as well as the state-of-the-art building Philippsburg sets standards in sustainable production. With the installation of the largest roof-top solar power plant in Germany we continue our environmental management and contribute to a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions”, says Eberhard Louis, Director Distribution & Operation EMEA, Goodyear Dunlop Europe. The logistics centre in Philippsburg manages commodity flows to more than 120 countries. Requisition, procurement, storage, transport and money transfer are coordinated. Tyres are delivered within 24 hours to customers in Germany as well as to customers in Western and Eastern Europe.

While it is difficult to confirm juwi’s claim that it has built the third largest roof-top array in the world, the 7.4-MW installation is certainly impressive. Elsewhere major roof-top arrays include Solon's 12.5-MWp plant on its Padua logistics centre in Italy, while General Motors boasts a 12-MW array on its assembly plant in Saragossa (Spain). The Milan trade fair is also reported to have commissioned the world’s biggest roof-top solar PV installation covering around 270,000 square metres (2.9 million square feet) and with a peak installed capacity of at least 18 MW.

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