First photovoltaic system put into operation at Wiegand-Glas

Photovoltaik für Wiegand-Glas in Ernstthal
Photovoltaik für Wiegand-Glas im Glaswerk Ernstthal

For decades Wiegand-Glas has been striving for more sustainable production and to set the course for the conservation of resources. The commissioning of our first photovoltaic system at our location in Neuhaus am Rennweg on 5 May 2020 was a small but important step on the long journey. To implement it, the roof of a warehouse in the logistics centre of the Ernstthal glass plant was covered with modules to generate almost 650 kWp of electricity.

Energy demand

70 % of the generated quantity is consumed at the site itself, the surplus electricity is fed into the local distribution network. The total amount of electrical energy that this plant will generate is roughly equivalent to the annual consumption of 130 three-person households.

In addition to protecting the environment, the glass plant also benefits in terms of the cost of electrical energy at the Herrnberg site. These can be reduced very significantly by generating our own electricity. But why can't this advantage be extended to our production plants on a larger scale today? This is due to the overreaching regulatory system of the energy industry that has been built up in Germany over the past decades – especially in connection with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). For example, as a special hardship case in the EEG, the EEG prohibits us from directly using large amounts of renewably generated electrical energy, be it from PV or wind power. 

Advance planning

In order to realise the project in this form, many things had to be planned and considered. The biggest challenge here was the weight of the snow, which affects the roof together with the PV system. Significantly higher snow loads are to be reckoned with in Neuhaus in particular than in the rest of Germany. For this reason, the PV specialist Münch Energie used a special mounting bracket. Thanks to a sophisticated and patented load distribution system over the entire roof, it was possible to realise the project, so that the entire planned area could be used.

Only a few months passed between the decision for and the realisation of the complete power plant

The plant as a whole is also proof that small and medium-sized companies continue to form the core of the German economy. Thanks to the effective cooperation of both companies and the complete project planning by Münch Energie, only a few months passed until the commissioning of the power plant . This working foundation can still offer a lot of potential and opportunities for the future and the region.