Day of the Sun – Official opening of the largest solar energy plant in Central Europe

AEVG/Fa. S.O.L.I.DJust in time, on the 16 May 2008, the International Day of the Sun, the largest solar energy plant in Central Europe was officially opened.

S.O.L.I.D. implemented the first section of the large-scale solar energy plant comprising a collector area of 3,556 m² at the company site of the Abfall Entsorgungs- und Verwertungs GmbH (AEVG) and the adjacent district heating plant of Graz-Süd. The HT collectors designed especially for high-temperature applications were installed on the roofs of several disused industrial buildings. The plant generates about 1,600 MWh per year and is supplied exclusively to the district heat grid of the Graz. 


v.l.n.r.: Landesrat Seitinger, Landesrat Ing. Wegscheider, Bürgermeister Mag. Nagl, stellvertretende Bürgermeisterin Rücker

During the celebrations, the provincial minister and engineer Manfred Wegscheider held a press conference. The plant was then officially opened by the provincial ministers Manfred Wegscheider and Johann Seitinger, the major of Graz Siegfried Nagl and his deputy Lisa Rücker. From left: Provincial ministers Johann Seitinger, Manfred Wegscheider, major Siegfried Nagl and deputy major Lisa Rücker


Afterwards, the invited guests had the opportunity to inspect the plant from a helicopter.


On the occasion of the opening the following press release was published by Manfred Wegscheider:


A milestone for a cleaner environment:


Largest solar energy plant in Central Europe opened in Graz!


"Today marks a milestone in the history of solar energy in Styria! With the largest solar energy plant in Central Europe designed to supply the district heat grid of Graz, Styria demonstrates once more its pioneering role in the field of renewable energy!" exclaimed Manfred Wegscheider, minister of the environment in the provincial government of Styria during today's official opening of the plant on the AEVG site covering a collector area of 3,556 m2. For this great event, the International Day of the Sun was chosen.


The district heat plant supplies the district heat grid of Graz operated by Energie Graz all year round with energy. The heat generated from solar energy is fed to the system's return lines or during summer operation directly into the feed lines.The technical data is impressive: Collector area of 3,556 m², annual yield of 1,600 MWh and CO2 savings of 480,000 kg per year!


v.l.n.r.: Landesrat Ing. Wegscheider, Dr. Holter (Fa. S.O.L.I.D.), Bürgermeister Mag. Nagl

Siegfried Nagl, the major of Graz is deservedly proud of his city's achievement:


"The S.O.L.I.D. project we inaugurated today is more than just another stone in the mosaic of renewable energy projects. Global competition means also competition for technological leadership. Graz is a city of knowledge and we will continue to apply the creative and innovative thinking of the people of Graz to implement the measures I proposed in order to improve the quality of life for all people of our city."


The project was implemented in cooperation with Gas&Wärme who operates the district heat plant and the solar collectors on the roofs, while AEVG remains in charge of its own premises.


This project differs from others as the solar panels were installed on four different roofs. Each roof area can thus be separately regulated and locked off!

AEVG/Fa. S.O.L.I.DThis innovative project demonstrates again that the proactive policy of promoting renewable energy adopted by Styria is paying dividends. Manfred Wegscheider explains: "Since 2004, the solar collector area in Styria has increased sevenfold! The AEVG plant was supported by the provincial government with € 130,000, and I can also tell you that the involved parties are already planning the extension of this plant that is unique in Europe!From left: Provincial minister Manfred Wegscheider, Dr. Holter representing S.O.L.I.D. and major Siegfried Nagl