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Published on September 2nd, 2012 | by Adam Johnston


Trina Solar Helps Swiss Sawmill Go Carbon Neutral

September 2nd, 2012 by  

It’s nice to hear a story once in a while about older industries using newer, cleaner technologies in the path towards environmental sustainability.

Take the case of Trina Solar’s new Honey Photovoltaic (PV) modules, which are helping the Sagewerke Christen AG sawmill in Luthern in the canton of Lucerne go carbon neutral. The project is the first mass-scale PV venture in Switzerland using the high-performance Honey PV cells.

The new PV installation takes up 6,000 square feet and is helping the plant go carbon neutral. The panels can create up to 6,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of daily solar energy, and have a peak power capacity of 900 kilowatts.  As of July, the new system has provided the energy equivalent of 900,000 kWh yearly, or enough power for about 300 households, the statement noted.

Meanwhile, the rooftop deployment consists of 3,576 multicrystalline PC05A Honey panels, with each panel having a 260Wp rating, according to the press release.  The aluminum plates also make sure the system has a waterproof connection for the system, and makes it more weather friendly.

Officials were supportive of the project.

“With the new solar power plant and our two existing wood co-generation plants, we save more than 3,000 tons of CO2 every year. That is twice as much as the emissions from our two sawmills in Luthern and Willisau,” said Sagewerke Christen AG owner Bruno Christen in the release.

“We are very pleased about this successful project for Sagewerke Christen AG in collaboration with SunTechnics. Conditions in the Swiss solar market are quite demanding, and their decision to work with Trina Solar confirms the high quality of our modules and their suitability for the local conditions,” said Ben Hill, Head of Trina Solar Europe.

Sun Technics CEO Felix Maag, whose company teamed up with Trina Solar on the project, had this to say on the importance of the high-tech Honey PV cells in adverse weather:

“The Swiss market has very particular requirements. Apart from high module output, qualities such as top performance in low-light conditions and a high snow load are important. Trina Solar products really stand out when it comes to meeting these requirements.”

In testing of the product during snow, the release noted the Honey PV cells can produce highly efficient absorption rates of light during low daylight levels.

The path of sustainability for old resource-driven industries like sawmills is possible as seen here with the power of new clean technologies. Here is hoping other companies will take notices.

Source: Trina Solar
Image Credit: Solar Panels Implant in Southern Switzerland image courtesy of Shutterstock 
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About the Author

Is currently studying at the School of the Environment Professional Development program in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto. Adam graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications. Adam also writes for Solar Love and also owns his own part time tax preparation business. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst, and is currently sharpening his skills as a renewable energy writer. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or at

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