Toshiba enters solar market in Germany

Residential solar

Toshiba Corp. will enter the solar power business in Germany with an on-site consumption model for apartment buildings. Toshiba will begin March 2014 by installing systems in Villingen-Schwenningen and Ostfildern, in Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Toshiba’s first phase will be installing 3 MW solar power systems for 750 apartments. The company plans to increase the generating capacity by more than 100 MW by 2016. Toshiba also plans to install stationary batteries and integrate a micro energy management system.

Germany introduced a feed-in tariff system for renewable energy in 2000, and while the adoption of photovoltaic (PV) power has increased, consumers have recently seen higher electricity bills every year, along with a lower feed in price for surplus solar power.

Germany is seeking solutions for this by deregulating its energy market, separating power generation and transmission, and independent power providers will be able to participate and deliver electricity.

Toshiba’s new on-site consumption model  is expected to reduce burden on the regional gird and the environment.

The system will be funded and owned by a group of pension funds. The German branch of U.K.-based Toshiba International Europe (TIL) will install Toshiba’s PV systems in family apartments owned by real estate company GAGFAH, and operate and manage them.

TIL will purchase the generated power from the pension funds and sell it the apartment buildings’ residents at a lower rate than charged by electric utilities. When the PV system is not operational, on cloudy days and at night, TIL will purchase electricity in the wholesale market and sell it to residents at the same rate as electricity from the solar power system.

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