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A Budding Solar Business Model in Germany
In 2017 the partners - Stadtwerke Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the ISM Group and Hanwha Q Cells - set up the first tenant energy plants on residential properties belonging to the Wolfen Housing Association in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.
ISM Energy (an affiliate of ISM Group) planned and built the systems, Stadtwerke Bitterfeld-Wolfen owns and operates them, and Hanwha Q Cells delivered its high-power solar modules. The tenants are supplied with both the solar electricity and residual electricity from the grid operated by Stadtwerke Bitterfeld-Wolfen. The solar power systems have a total capacity of 110 kW and are equipped with 394 Q Cells Q.PLUS-G4 solar modules, each with 280 Wp and Q.ANTUM technology. The systems will produce around 107,000 kWh of clean solar power per annum and supply 48 households with cheap solar energy.
Tenant energy combines locally produced direct solar power and grid power into an electricity package for private and business end users in Germany. Unlike for supply solely via the grid, no energy tax and other fees associated with use of the municipal power grid have to be paid for the directly produced and consumed solar energy. Additionally, the system operator receives a grant for the direct energy sold. As a result, the electricity is offered to the tenants at a considerably lower price than that for the basic supply, and it is therefore economically advantageous for home-owners and tenants, as well as the energy provider.
Stadtwerke Bitterfeld-Wolfen was apprised to identify the opportunity of tenant energy and had already started to develop its own tenant energy scheme even before the new Tenant Energy Act (Mieterstromgesetz) came into force in July 2017. Tenant energy helps strengthen local economic cycles, increases local value creation and yields positive effects for the region. This is why the three high-performing partners, Stadtwerke Bitterfeld-Wolfen, the ISM Group and Hanwha Q Cells, came together in Bitterfeld-Wolfen in order to implement the joint tenant energy projects in the region. The high quality-related expectations of the three partners and the successful collaboration on the first three projects will be the basis for future collaboration. In 2018, the partners will collaborate to equip other housing associations in the region with solar energy systems. Tenant energy systems are also planned for new builds.