Belgium boasts largest rooftop solar installation

ANTWERP, BELGIUM - Trina Solar Limited, an integrated manufacturer of solar photovoltaic products, and Invictus NV, a green projects developer, recently inaugurated a 40-megawatt (MW) rooftop solar system for global logistics service provider Katoen Natie.

The system is said to be the largest rooftop solar installation in Europe, representing a roof surface of about 800,000 square meters.

Built with an investment of 166 million euros, the rooftop system is scheduled to begin operations at full capacity by the end of 2009 or early 2010. It is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 17,000 tons per year. Invictus claims that the plant accounts for 25% of the total solar energy generated in Belgium. The installation is part of a series of projects being implemented by Invictus, which aims to set up 68 MW of solar panels by the end of this year.

Trina Solar supplied solar modules for the project under a two-year sales agreement signed in December 2008 between its subsidiary Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Company Limited and Invictus.

As per the agreement, Trina Solar was to supply Invictus with solar photovoltaic modules of 20 MW and 30 MW in 2009 and 2010, respectively, at predetermined prices. Invictus also was given the option to purchase an additional 10 MW of solar modules each year.

Established in 1997 as a system installation company in China, Trina Solar produces and commercializes mono- and multi-crystalline photovoltaic modules with power outputs in the range of 165 to 240 watts. As of December 31, 2008, the firm had a production capacity of 350 MW of modules per year, and was looking to augment its capacity to 550 MW by the end of 2009. In February this year, Trina Solar installed a 4.7-MW, roof-mounted solar system at Serravalle Scrivia, Italy, in partnership with ErgyCapital SpA.

This was followed by three more installations in the country, with power outputs ranging from 49.28 to 954 kilowatts, in collaboration with Ravano Green Power. In March this year, Trina Solar completed the Atlantic City Convention Center project, a 2.4-MW, roof-mounted solar array, which comprises more than 13,400 modules and represents North America's largest single rooftop solar installation.

The project will curtail 2,350 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. It will cater to 25% of the building's energy requirements and benefit ACCC, with energy savings of about $4.4 million over a period of 20 years.


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