Solar energy developer Vis Solis and the German Energy Agency (DENA) have jointly completed DENA's first US solar project, in Oak Ridge in Tennessee.
The 50kW Heritage Centre solar installation is the first to be built in the US under DENA's 'solar roofs' programme, which is aimed at opening up foreign markets for German solar technology.
The two organisations constructed the project in collaboration with dual-axis tracking systems manufacturer DEGEREnergie.
The PV solar array occupies 1200-acre and it is installed on the former duct bank of the Heritage Centre industrial parkm, which is owned by the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET).
The use of DEGEREnergie’s light detection technology will help to produce about 91,000kWh annually, which is 40% more generated energy than a traditional ground mounted system.
The Mayor of Oak Ridge, Tom Beehan, said: “We are pleased to welcome such an innovative solar project and international partnership to Oak Ridge, a city with a rich history in energy innovation and leadership. This solar project further boosts Oak Ridge’s reputation as a cutting edge science and technology hub that’s open for business.”
Carlos Mayer, Vis Solis’ CEO said: “Vis Solis is using solar energy to turn an otherwise unusable empty plot of land into an income producing asset for our investors and the community.”
Vis Solis offered EPC services as well as financial support.
Jörg Polzer, head of renewable energies at DENA said: “The selection of Oak Ridge as the first American/German Solar location has brought the highest attention to the project: the plurality of stakeholders in the energy sector together with the devotion to move things as well as the business environment with its possibilities to exchange knowhow are outstanding.”
The project has received financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The electricity produced from the solar arrays will be connected to the TVA grid.
TVA will purchase the electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement.