Hanwha SolarOne PV modules produce green energy on contaminated site

19. February 2013 | By:  Hanwha SolarOne

Global PV provider supplies 2.7 MW of modules to a PV park constructed on a former tar acid disposal site in Germany.

Hanwha SolarOne, a global provider of total photovoltaic (PV) solar solutions and flagship company of the top-10 Korean business enterprise Hanwha Group, has supplied 11.050 high-quality modules for a photovoltaic park on a former tar acid disposal site in Neukirchen, Germany.

After 15 years of intensive remediation efforts headed by the Federal Government of Germany and the Land of Saxony, the site is no longer a source of air and soil pollution. Still, strict controls on areas that remain contaminated limit the future uses of this land. Building a PV park proved to be the most viable and beneficial use of the former disposal site.

“The plant in Neukirchen demonstrates how even contaminated land can be utilized to generate green energy,” said Anke Johannes, Director Sales Germany of Hanwha SolarOne GmbH.  “Using remediated land for solar projects is also a profitable, future-oriented business strategy, as PV companies are constantly searching for more space to build energy-efficient decentralized production sites. As top-ten PV producer that embraces environmental responsibility and sustainability, Hanwha SolarOne is working with partners and customers to identify opportunities that maximize economic gain and ecological benefit.”

Adopting ‘Swimming’ Construction Methods to Meet the Area’s Challenges

Remediation specialist Baufeld was responsible for removing contamination from the site and preparing it for solar park construction. Baufeld has leased the land to solar investor K&W Natural Energy for 20 years with an option to extend. K&W Natural Energy is specializing in the investment, project development and operation of solar projects.

“In addition to sealed underground areas, the project site has steep hillsides and wetlands as well as tar and concrete grounds,” said Tobias Kahre, executive director of K&W Natural Energy. “But we were able to develop solutions according to the site's varied topography. We are very pleased that this challenging site will bring economic gains. Hanwha SolarOne contributed to the project’s success with responsive services and professional support.”

Due to the remaining contamination, the former disposal site has partly been sealed below the ground.  Consequently, in these areas the solar modules’ substructures could not be fixed by drilling holes but had to be embedded into a concrete foundation on the surface – a “swimming” construction meeting the area’s many challenges.

The PV park was constructed within a few weeks and connected to the grid in November 2012. Hanwha SolarOne’s 11.050 solar modules will produce an estimated 2.5 million kWh a year, which is equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by 500 to 600 households.