29 October 2010


Photon Energy installing 1.23MWp Solyndra CIGS PV project in Prague

Solyndra Inc of Fremont, CA, USA, which manufactures copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) photovoltaic (PV) systems for commercial rooftops, says that Prague-based solar energy firm Photon Energy a.s. recently signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement for a 1.23MWp project and begun installation on multiple rooftops in Prague. The project is the first exceeding 1MWp in the Czech Republic using Solyndra panels, and the largest Solyndra installation in Eastern Europe.

The turnkey project involves the installation and development of 18 rooftop systems on the roofs of municipal buildings owned by the administration of Prague 15. Installation has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of December.

Novacento a.s. obtained permission to install solar systems on the roofs, which are primarily school and nursery buildings. Photon Energy has agreed to provide vendor financing for about 80% of the project to Novacento, which will also work with the US Export Import bank to seek to secure long-term project financing after the connection of the last system.

“Partnering with Solyndra, with their proven and readily bankable technology, allowed us to complete the planning process quickly,” says Photon Energy’s CEO Michal Gärtner. “Their performance on flat roofs, and lightweight, non-penetrating design was ideal for the schools and other buildings encompassed in this project,” he adds.

Solyndra’s proprietary thin-film solar panels are built from cylindrical tubes. This ‘self-tracking’ design — with a 360º photovoltaic surface capable of absorbing direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight (from below) — allows the capture of more sunlight from low-slope commercial rooftops than conventional flat-surfaced solar panels, which need costly tilted mounting devices to improve the capture of direct light from the sun, offer poor collection of diffuse light, and fail to collect reflected light. Also, gaps between the tubes and their frame let wind pass through, reducing the need for heavy, roof-penetrating fastenings or anchoring; their lighter weight also allows installation on scantier roofs. Simple horizontal mounting hardware also allows fast and economical installation, claims the firm.

“The forward-looking Prague city administration is bringing clean energy to the city while generating income from otherwise unutilized rooftop space,” comments said Clemens Jargon, Solyndra’s president of EMEA and managing director of Solyndra Gmbh, who describes the Czech development as a ‘high-visibility, showcase project’.

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