Tuesday, September 16, 2008

German Solar Roof Project Demonstrated In India For First Time

Leading German company IBC SOLAR, specialist in turnkey solar systems, has installed its first showcase system in India on the roof of the cultural organisation, the Goethe-Institut, in Bangalore, Karnataka. The system will help the institute to cover a substantial part of its energy consumption and ensure that it continues to receive power during a grid failure.

IBC SOLAR’s photovoltaic systems enable companies, institutions and homes to reduce their energy costs and receive uninterrupted energy during a power cut. The system is part of the German Energy Agency’s (dena) Solar Roofs programme which helps set up beacon projects that demonstrate the implementation and use of solar power by institutions such as schools, hospitals and other similar operations.

At the Goethe-Institut in Bangalore, also known as Max Mueller Bhavan, IBC SOLAR has finished installing 35 solar modules with a total capacity of 7.8 kilowatt peak. The photovoltaic system is connected to the house grid and feeds the electricity into its grid. It allows the institute to use the energy immediately and, in a case of a grid disconnection, the system will switch instantly to the backup mode in order to supply the institute directly. The solar energy helps to maintain teaching activities and secure smooth operations.

Evelin Hust, Director of the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore, said: "We are very happy and proud to be part of this innovative project. Renewable energies are the call of the day and Bangalore’s weather is extremely suited to this technology. Thanks to this solar system power we are already saving a lot of money on the cost of running and maintenance of our generator which is a significant expense given the current price of diesel."

During this project IBC SOLAR worked closely with its new installation partner SELCO Solar, a leading provider of PV systems in Karnataka combining German and Indian skills for a smooth and successful installation. It is anticipated that after the installation at the Goethe-Institut, IBC SOLAR will cooperate with further solar power partners and investors across India to take photovoltaic energy to other parts of the country.

Especially in India with its high solar irradiation, photovoltaic energy is an effective means to supply buildings or whole villages and cities reliably with electricity. The possibilities are widespread and range from small off-grid systems to solar power plants.

Udo Moehrstedt, Founder of IBC SOLAR said, “Solar energy has proven to be a cost-effective, reliable and efficient source of energy. In the light of the current rising energy costs the demand for alternative energy is increasing among businesses and institutions alike. Our aim is to foster PV technology and promote its use in India. The project with Goethe-Institut is an ideal platform to showcase solar power in action and the impact that photovoltaic technology can have in India.”

Moehrstedt added, “In this initial phase of our work in India, we are currently building the right partner base. SELCO is an important first partner for our network here which we plan to expand to other key Indian cities. Together with our partners we want to deliver photovoltaic systems that supply commercial and private users with clean and reliable energy. Especially for businesses this is a major advantage as solar systems act as back-up systems that limit the effect of grid outages and ensures business continuity.”

Mr. Harish Hande, Managing Director of SELCO Solar said, “This is an important project between India and Germany and will demonstrate the use of solar energy in the Indian context. We’re very proud to partner with IBC SOLAR on this project and hope to develop an ongoing relationship with the company to implement more solar power based projects in India.”

Since it was established in 1982, IBC SOLAR has been exclusively active in the photovoltaics sector. The IBC SOLAR group of companies with several subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and USA currently supplies the global market with high-performance systems of every magnitude, from single-family home roofs, to large-scale solar projects. To date more than 350 megawatts (MWp) of photovoltaic power have been delivered in more than 50,000 solar power systems around the world.

About dena-Solar Roofs Programme

Through its four year-old Solar Roofs Programme for Foreign Market Development, the German Energy Agency (dena) helps German solar energy enterprises cultivate international markets for their products with support from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The dena-Solar Roofs Programme provides a framework for the planning and installation of solar thermal energy and photovoltaic power systems in promising foreign markets, often at German international schools or Goethe Institutes. The initiative delivers training programmes and public relations and marketing efforts to accompany these installations. The goal of these ‘beacon projects’ is to demonstrate the high quality of German renewable energy products and systems.



SELCO INDIA, a social enterprise, provides sustainable energy services to under-served households and businesses in India. Through its 25 energy service centers in India, SELCO has brought reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable electricity to more than 100,000 homes and businesses since 1995. From solar lighting and electricity, to clean cooking and wireless communications, SELCO aims to empower its customers by providing complete packages of product, service and consumer financing, in a very holistic manner.