From pv magazine Germany
German Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing visited the first PV system to cover Autobahn 81 at the Hegau-Ost service area in Germany this week, as the pilot project is nearing completion.
The installation is a collaborative research effort between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, supported by participating research institutes including Fraunhofer ISE, Forster FF, and the Austrian Institute of Technology. While the original plan was to directly cover the motorway, the adjacent through lane was chosen instead.
The PV roof area, consisting of solar modules on a steel structure, was supplied by Solarwatt. It has a total output of 33 kW. Completion of the PV system is scheduled for July.
The German Federal Ministry of Transport claims that there are benefits for solar rooftops over motorways, particularly near tunnels or rest areas, where the electricity can be used directly. However, stringent safety requirements for the fast-flowing traffic underneath must be met.
Federal Transport Minister Wissing noted the significance of solar on federal highways in achieving climate neutrality, and legislation aims to expedite and simplify the expansion of PV on and near motorways. Federal Autobahn GmbH is actively seeking suitable locations, with the goal of achieving climate neutrality for its own area by 2040. The pilot project will be scientifically monitored by the Federal Highway Research Institute for one year.
The new legislation also facilitates the installation of PV modules by municipalities, residents, and investors in the vicinity of federal motorways. Noise barriers, in particular, have been identified as suitable installation areas for solar. A register of potential areas is currently being compiled, and the ministry aims to simplify the planning process to encourage the implementation of renewable energy systems along federal trunk roads.
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