Austrian utility Wien Energie begins solar offensive

The money is part of an €870 million investment program for security of supply, renewable energy and other innovations announced by the company on Thursday.

An important basis for the “solar offensive” is the green electricity amendment from last year. “The new legal framework laid the foundation for the erection of solar systems on the roofs of multi-party buildings,” said Michael Strebl, chairman of the Vienna Energy Management Board.

“As Wien Energie, we quickly developed a model suitable for the market, and the first projects will be implemented in the spring together with housing associations.” The request from pv magazine regarding exactly what this market-ready model looks like went unanswered.

According to Wien Energie, rooftop PV arrays could be built on up to 10% of the 68,000 apartment buildings in Vienna. In addition, the expansion of solar power generation with companies and municipalities is planned throughout Austria – for example on farm buildings or agricultural land.

Overall, the Austrian utility is planning to deploy 600 MW of PV capacity by 2030.

Meanwhile, Wien Energie has already begun expanding its charging stations for electric cars in February, with the first charging stations going into operation in April.

The goal is a nationwide network in the city by the end of 2020. By the middle of this year, 230 charging points, each with 11 kW of power, are planned to be accelerated. According to its own information, the company already has 550 loading points in garages, shopping centers and at Vienna Airport, in operation.

With this solar offensive, the Austrian utility also announced its 2017 results. According to the numbers, the company’s parent company Wiener Stadtwerke achieved a turnover of €1.23 billion euros, up 10% compared to 2016.

Net result was at €86 million. The company also said that in the winter months 2017/18, it also provided a grid reserve of 278 MW for the German grid operator, Tennet for the first time.