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Siemens Solar Technology Supports Bavarian State Government's "Bavaria and Future Energy" Program at the New Munich Trade Fair Center

The largest solar power rooftop plant in the world is being installed on six trade fair halls at the New Munich Trade Fair Center. The plant, initiated and project-managed by Bayernwerk and sponsored in part by the Bavarian Economics Ministry and the Federal Ministry of Research, will produce around 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. This will be fed directly into the 20,000 volt network of the New Munich Trade Fair Center site and is equivalent to the average power consumption of 340 German households. This plant shows the first use of Siemens Solar's M130-L solar module, specifically designed for large plants. The 7812 monocrystalline solar modules (130 watts each) produced in Munich are mounted in very light frames on the roof skin of the trade fair halls.

With the expected energy output of one million kilowatt hours of solar power per year a reduction of around 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be achieved. These reductions are equivalent to emissions from some 700 family cars each covering 10,000 kilometers per year.

The trade fair project is highly significant for Siemens Solar for several reasons. Siemens began developing solar cells about 30 years ago at its Munich location, where the Siemens Solar head office is located. Siemens Solar's research and development work is focused in Munich, as is the module manufacturing plant being utilized to its full capacity for the trade fair project.

The plant will supply an average of 4% of the power requirement of the New Munich Trade Fair Center when fully active, and almost 50% when inactive. The economic significance of the project lies mainly in the fact that many millions of visitors to the New Munich Trade Fair Center, especially those from Third World countries, will become acquainted with the technical, economic, and environmental features of photovoltaics. Many millions of visitors coming from all over the world to the New Munich Trade Fair Center will soon be able to see this permanent "exhibition" of the photovoltaics plant, and learn how it functions. In sun-drenched developing countries, the energy supplied by the new plant would be sufficient to:

  • supply 20,000 households in rural Third World countries, or
  • cover the daily per capita water requirement (40 liters) for 500,000 people in the Sahel Zone of Saharan Africa, or
  • operate 500 rural Third World clinics, which could provide 3 million people with basic medical care.

At present, over 2 billion people live without any electricity and this number is likely to increase.

Photovoltaics would not only be the most environmentally friendly but also the most cost-effective solution to supplying electricity to the rural areas where these people live, and preventing any further exodus from these areas to urban centers.

This 1 Megawatt rooftop solar powerplant will hopefully lead the way for future solar projects, both large scale and distributed to individual homes and villages.

Presentation by Dr. Otto Majewski
Chairman of the Board of Bayernwerk, GmbH

I am delighted to welcome you here today in order to present to you our new project "One Megawatt Photovoltaic Plant at the New Munich Trade Fair Center" under the Bayernwerk program "Bavaria and Future Energy". A short while ago, the contract was signed with Siemens Solar GmbH, making it now legally possible to erect the photovoltaic plant on the Trade Fair Center's roofs. This now paves the way for this unique project. The project will be jointly financed and implemented in cooperation with our partners Siemens and the utility "Stadtwerke München".

This photovoltaic roof plant on the six trade fair halls lying to the north of the complex will be the largest of its kind in the world with an output of 1,000 kilowatts. It will feed approximately one million kilowatt hours into the Trade Fair Center grid, which theoretically is sufficient to satisfy the average energy requirement of 340 German households. It therefore makes a notable contribution to the overall environmental concept of the Trade Fair Center. If you would like any further details on the technical side of things, Mr. Oswald, Managing Director of Siemens Solar, would be happy to be of assistance.

First-class showcase
The aim of the project is primarily to show how a large photovoltaic plant can function on the rooftops of a building complex. By optimizing and further refining the procedures and technology involved, it will be possible to reduce the costs for this type of plant in the future, which would also be to the benefit of smaller plants. Because of its size and prominent position at the New Munich Trade Fair Center, the solar roof will be an excellent showcase, helping to spread knowledge about this form of energy production which is still very new.

In order to achieve these aims, Solardach München-Riem GmbH was established. Bayernwerk has a 72% stake in this company, Siemens 14%, and the utility "Stadtwerke München" 14%. 20% of this DM 15 million project is being sponsored by the Bavarian States Ministry of Economics, Transports, and Technology, and 10% of it is being sponsored by the Federal German Research Ministry. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Minister of State, present today, and the Federal Minister for Research on behalf of our partners for their sponsorship.

The work undertaken in this project is divided as follows: Bayernwerk planned the plant using its many years of experience in photovoltaics and is in charge of the overall implementation (which will be carried out by Siemens Solar as general contractor) until the plant is handed over and finally runs the rest of the business of Solardach München-Riem GmbH. The day-to-day management will be taken over at a later date by "Stadtwerke München". The company responsible for the New Munich Trade Fair Center (Messe München GmbH) will provide the roofing area free of charge for at least 20 years.

"Bavaria and Future Energy" - DM 100 million
invested in new energy technology
Building the largest photovoltaic plant in the world on a roof is an important keystone in our development program "Bavaria and Future Energy". This program is our largest to date and has been funning for almost exactly one year. It is also one of the largest privately financed projects—with 100 million DM—for promoting the regeneration and more efficient consumption of energy. Our aim by means of this program is to further increase the proportion of regenerated energy up to the year 2000 in line with the Bavarian state government's plans.

Bayernwerk—leader in the field
of utilizing regenerative energy
Bayernwerk is—and I say this with pride—the leader in a number of areas focusing on regenerative energy in Germany.

Over the past few years, we have spent at least DM 370 million promoting and seeking new regenerative power, primarily in the fields of photovoltaics and hydrogen, and have continually made our commitment known to the public. In addition, we are running the DM 100 million program called "Bavaria and Future Energy". Our work is carried out under the guiding principle that we should seek and encourage important options for the future which are worth being promoted, irrespective of the obvious competition. It would be ludicrous for us to abandon everything to do with the environment, prevention, and research in our efforts to enter into and grow within a competitive system. Every company should take measures for the future with its own means especially if they are entering a competitive field. We will not waiver in our promises.

Stable environmental policy in Bavaria
Our huge financial commitment in this field naturally requires considerable financial backing. We have never made a secret of the fact that we can only put forward these amounts of money as we benefit from two highly economical sources of energy here in Bavaria — hydro-electric and nuclear energy. We also benefit from the fact that the Free State of Bavaria has a farsighted and straightforward energy policy. The significance of these dependable conditions makes Bavaria a real locational advantage for us.

Photovoltaics—dream and reality
I would like to end by adding a few words about photovoltaics. We are able to make a clear distinction between dream and reality, unlike with any other regenerative source of energy. The fact is that here in Germany, photovoltaics cannot supersede the established sources of energy because of cost and volume.

However, this does not mean that there is no interest in photovoltaics in Germany. This misunderstanding and prejudice is widely held and we come across it on a daily basis in discussions with the public. We do not promise that we will be able to switch some, all, or most of the Bavarian energy supply to photovoltaics. This would be extremely unreasonable—and even unrealistic. We are adamant, however, that photovoltaics has a future. So intensive work is now being carried out in order to develop these options for the future, without raising any false hopes.

The greatest opportunities for photovoltaics are in newly industrialized and developing countries in the southern hemisphere which do not have a good infrastructure. Photovoltaics can help to set up the basic supply in these countries which is urgently needed.

We are convinced that through our long-term commitment we can bring the field of renewable additive sources of energy a step forward. We therefore wish the greatest of success for the project at the New Munich Trade Fair Center—we hope there will be many visitors and many imitators throughout the world.


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