Ceremony in the sky above Montpellier: A 4.5 megawatt solar power system from SolarWorld was inaugurated with a low-level celebratory flyover by the Airbus 380 at the airport of the southern French city of Montpellier. The largest solar installation at an airport in France was installed on carports over 1,800 parking spaces. In the future, 16,000 SolarWorld solar power modules (SW Sunmodule plus 280 mono) will generate about 6.2 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity per year. In addition, electric cars can recharge using the power of the sun at two solar vehicle charging stations.
The project was a particular challenge, since it was impossible to use standard modules here. To ensure the safety of the air traffic, the solar modules have to be completely free of any reflection. This prevents pilots from being dazzled when taking off or landing. For this reason, SolarWorld completely adapted the entire lamination process in a complex process and equipped the modules with thicker, non-reflective glass. Even under the strongest sunlight, the pilots don’t have to worry about reflections when looking toward the SolarWorld facility. The flexibility in dealing with the specific project requirements, the high quality of the solar modules made in Germany, their longevity and extremely low CO2 emissions in manufacturing were the crucial arguments for Energies du Sud to use solar power modules from SolarWorld in the airport project. “Our three production facilities in Freiberg, Arnstadt (Germany) and Hillsboro (USA), run fully automated and utilize state-of-the-art technology. With this project, we have shown that SolarWorld is nevertheless able to respond flexibly to specific requirements and to adapt production processes accordingly,” explains Dr. Ing. E. h. Frank Asbeck, CEO of SolarWorld.
A consortium comprising the companies Energies du Sud, La Compagnie du Vent (ENGIE Group), the Caisse des Dépôts and the airport Montpellier Méditerranée was established especially for the ambitious ecological project. The French subsidiary SolarWorld France S.A.S. headquartered in Grenoble was charged with the project implementation.