Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Intersolar: Germany's 40MW solar PV project more than halfway done


And you thought the U.S. was getting big solar photovoltaic projects (like the one being built by SunPower for FPL, or SunEdison for Duke). But those will deliver just a little more than half of what a Godzilla-like solar PV project in Germany will soon provide. The managing director of solar builder Juwi Solar, Michael Martin, said Juwi has already built over half — or 26 MW — of what, at 40 MW, he claims will be the world’s largest solar PV project, which could be completed as soon as the end of the year.

Martin gave the update about the PV project called Waldpolenz at the solar conference Intersolar on Wednesday. The massive project is being built at a military airfield in Leipzig, Germany, and will consist of 550,000 thin-film modules made by First Solar. Martin also says the company has other projects of equal size in its pipeline.

While not well known in the U.S., the 12-year-old, privately held builder of solar, wind and biogas projects is already bringing in sizable revenues — around 200 million euros ($317 million) in 2007, says Martin. For the same period, its subsidiary Juwi Solar delivered 100 million euros in revenue. Both are based in Mainz, Germany.

The company also has a North American subsidiary, Juwi Solar Inc., which it hopes will help it expand considerably in the U.S. market. So will we get bigger PV projects now that the German solar builders with years of experience are moving in? Likely, though interestingly, Juwi’s big partner in Germany, First Solar, is looking to build its own thin-film PV projects in the U.S. with the acquisition of installer Turner Renewable Energy.

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