On the roofs of the Technical University of Berlin, 29,000 square meters of potential for clean electricity lie dormant, four soccer fields. 3,344 megawatt hours of electricity could be generated annually by area-wide photovoltaic systems on the roofs. Students of the TU Berlin want to use this potential and founded the Solar Powers e.V..
The first project of the non-profit association is a PV system on the roof of the TU Central Library in Berlin-Charlottenburg. An area of 500 square meters was covered with 107 PV modules in the fall of 2016 in cooperation with the collective company KanTe and ceremoniously opened at the beginning of April 2017. Not only the construction of the plant, but also the operation is carried out by the student initiative.
The concept not only convinced those responsible at the TU, but also NATURSTROM AG and the Grüner Strom Label e.V. (Green Electricity Label). As part of the green electricity certification, the independent green electricity provider contributed 10,000 euros to the total costs of 50,000 euros. The money came from the green electricity tariff awarded with the Green Electricity Label. The Green Electricity label guarantees that for every kilowatt hour consumed in a certified green electricity tariff, a fixed amount is invested by the energy provider in nature-friendly energy transition projects.
Further funding came from module sponsorships, a rather unusual fundraising idea: Individuals or groups such as student councils or groups of friends can purchase one or more modules and give them names or immortalize themselves with their logo on the module overview plan. Another 20,000 euros were raised via the crowdfunding platform betterplace.org.
The entire system has an output of 30 kilowatt-peak - this can supply eleven two-person households with solar power per year. All the electricity generated by the PV system is purchased by the TU Berlin. The proceeds go to non-profit projects in the fields of environmental technology, renewable energies and sustainable business.
The student initiative's commitment to renewable energy has already distinguished itself. In April last year, Solar Powers received the first Student Environmental Award (STUPS) from the German Environmental Foundation.