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UNIVERSOL Report Summary

Project ID: 11659
Funded under: FP5-EESD
Country: France

12.8 kWp - PV Installation

Since the year 2000, the co-operative and ethical financial services bank La Nef and Hespul, a non-profit organisation for the promotion of renewable energies, occupy a small building opposite Lyon's (France) most important scientific university campus, La Doua. Combining their energies and finances, the two organisations have installed a grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of their building.

Bearing the evocative name Soleil Marguerite (Sunshine Daisy), the solar electric system was commissioned in December 2003 by the local SME Enersun. Soleil Marguerite is one of 15 similar medium-to-large systems to be installed in the framework of the European funded (5th FP) UNIVERSOL Programme in France, for a total of 345kWp . The systems are integrated into educational or cultural facilities such as high schools, universities and demonstration centres.

As well as the European Commission, both the Rhône Alpes regional delegation of the French ADEME (national environment agency) and the Rhône Alpes Regional Government Authority have contributed financially to the system.

With a total power of 12.8 kWp (120m²), the system is composed of 128 modules divided into 3 groups from principle system suppliers in France (BP Solar: 6.1kWp, Total Energie: 4.1kWp, Sunwatt France: 4.6kWp) mounted in 17 rows on the 400m² flat roof.

ConSole bucket supports, made of 100% chlorine-free recycled plastic, are weighed down by gravel ballast, specially designed without any fixing holes that could affect the weather tightness of flat roofs.

The PV system is connected to the national distribution grid (EDF) via six inverters from SMA, Europe's leading manufacturer of electronic inverters that insure the compatibility and security of the grid. The entire production of the PV system is sold at 0.1525EUR/kWh, as provided for in national law.

The Soleil Marguerite PV system has a real impact on the electricity needs of the buildings occupiers - the expected production of 13, 000kWh/year will provide the equivalent of 80% of La Nef and Hespul's consumption. In parallel, actions within the two organisations are progressively being put into place to reduce their electricity needs - notably the electricity use due to indoor lighting and the computer park are being reduced through the replacement of existing material with more energy-efficient models.

A weather station has been installed in association with sophisticated production monitoring equipment for real-time monitoring. The monitoring data will be made available to students for practical sessions on grid connected photovoltaic systems. The monitoring will also be used to undertake a comparison of the technical performance of the three different subsystems from each supplier.

The building's flat roof is also equipped with a fenced viewing zone so that students and the public can visit the site in complete safety. Over and above the technical and educational qualities of the systems, the Soleil Marguerite PV system is an illustration of the common preoccupation for a sustainable, ethical and social development for everyone today and in the future of the two organisations La Nef and Hespul.

To demonstrate this commitment, all revenue from the sale of electricity will assist the financing of other renewable and sustainable projects in the earliest future possible.

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