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PV firm to build solar facility to power car company operations

SPI to construct 400kW Solar System for Volkswagen’s U.S. emission laboratory and technical centre in California

Solar photovoltaic firm SPI will construct the facility for Volkswagen
Solar photovoltaic firm SPI will construct the facility for Volkswagen

PV developer SPI Solar is constructing a 400kW DC distributed generation PV solar energy facility (“SEF”) for automotive firm Volkswagen. The SEF will help power operations at Volkswagen’s U.S. test centre, which encompasses a technical centre and an emissions laboratory located in Oxnard, California.

The facility, currently under construction by an affiliate of BLT Enterprises, is a 63,500sq ft facility. It will be one of the automobile industry’s most advanced emissions testing and power train development facilities. It will utilise a mix of rooftop and carport structures to host the onsite solar array.

The centre will be used by various brands within the Volkswagen Group, which includes Volkswagen, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti. It is the second large-scale system SPI has produced for BLT. In January, 2011, SPI announced completion of a 398kW system at BLT’s Fremont, California state-of-the-art waste-recovery operation facility.

Rob Solomon, chief development and legal officer for BLT Enterprises, said: “As traditionally sourced energy costs rise, it is becoming increasingly more important to offset them with thoughtful and sustainable energy platforms that can be deployed onsite and reduce long-term operation costs.

“It is also fundamental to Volkswagen’s mission to operate the centre in a manner that is consistent with its environmental mission. This solar energy facility helps to fulfil a major part of that mission.

Steve Kircher, CEO for SPI Solar, said: “We are fortunate to enjoy a long-term working relationship with BLT Enterprises. BLT is an innovative commercial development company and this will be the second large-scale distributed generation SEF we have designed and built for them. We look forward to having our systems integrated into more of their buildings in the future.”

The solar photovoltaic company expects to begin construction of the SEF in the first quarter of this year.