Evergreen Solar said that the first phase of construction of a landmark solar PV installation using the company’s StringRibbon panels is nearing completion on the roof of a tunnel of Germany’s A3 highway. The 2.8-MW system, incorporating more than 16,000 solar modules, will be one of the country’s largest and the first to be located on a public highway.
The installation, located near Aschaffenburg, occupies 2.7 km of the A3 tunnel roof and, on completion, will provide enough energy to power more than 600 average houses annually.
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German-based solar installer Ralos is overseeing the construction and working with Goldbach-Hoesbach, a local power provider, which purchased the land from the German government. The power company will oversee the project’s interconnectivity to the grid.
The investment in the project is €11 million, which will be paid back through cost savings over 16 years. Details of the specific timeline for project completion and system activation were not provided by the companies.
“This project is a testament to the fact that when both government and developers work together in a creative and goal-oriented way, positive results such as clean, renewable energy can be the result,” said Peter Rusch, Evergreen’s director of marketing and sales for Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. “Theoretically, there’s a huge amount of free space on highway bridges and tunnels. If this example is replicated throughout Germany, the country’s market share on solar energy could rise substantially.”