After more than four months of construction, in November 2010 Solstis commissioned the first instalment of the photovoltaic power plant on the roofs of the EPFL in Lausanne. The installation will eventually be the largest solar installation in Switzerland, with two MWp.
Resolutely committed to the development of renewable energy, the EPFL and Romande Energie have signed a partnership agreement for the construction of a photovoltaic park of some 20,000 m2 on the campus of the EPFL. Incorporating research and development features, it will be gradually phased into production and, in time, will produce over 2 million kWh/year (equivalent to the consumption of about 700 households). The project, estimated at 20 million francs, will be financed by Romande Energie, through its subsidiary Romande Energie Renouvelable.
Solstis was selected in early 2010 from among many contenders to complete the first phase of this installation. As an integral part of the gravel-covered flat roofs, the modules integrate seamlessly with the buildings thanks to the Soltech frame support system. This system does not require the roof to be pierced and represents a light-weight additional load (15kg/m2). The selected modules employ monocrystalline technology with 240 Wp per module, or an efficiency of 14%. All of the inverters are produced by the company SolarMax in Biel. They are amongst the new MT generation offering increased efficiency and supporting on-roof installation. The concept of electrical safety has also been redesigned to guarantee optimal use of the power plant over the years of energy production.
This installation was completed by Solstis assembly teams assisted by the in-house technical department. This work has mobilised the equivalent of 15 full-time staff for a period of five months' work. The entire system could not have been completed without the partnership of local businesses (JeanFavre SA, Petit Levages SA etc.).
At no time were the activities of the school hindered or disrupted by the installation of the solar panels on the roof.