№ 185/2009 from Jul 08, 2009
A new solar roof financed and operated by students will be inaugurated on Thursday, July 9, 2009. The idea for this project originated with a group of students, who have set up a company called Unisolar for the purpose of installing and operating the roof. A photovoltaic system covering 2,500 square meters was installed on the roof of the humanities complex on Habelschwerdter Allee 45. The roof provides an output of just under 100 kilowatts and is one of the largest solar installations in Berlin. It is the second solar system to be installed on one of the campus buildings of Freie Universität.
The new solar roof was financed to a large extent by 80 students and employees of Freie Universität as well as other individuals. Their shares of loans of at least 250 euros, amounting to a total of 100,000 euros, are repayable in cooperation with Solardach Invest GmbH over a period of 20 years, in consistently high proportions. Four to six percent interest will be paid each year on the unredeemed part of the loan – regardless of the energy yield of the roof.
In the planning stages and in the search for a suitable roof, the group was supported by Andreas Wanke, Energy and Environmental Officer at Freie Universität, and the Engineering and Utilities Division. The photovoltaic system produces 90,000 kilowatt hours annually, enough for 25 four-person households. That is one-tenth the amount of electricity used in the humanities building complex, according to Wanke. The Director of Administration and Finance of Freie Universität, Peter Lange, welcomed the students' initiative. "Using renewable energy is an important investment in the future and helps to improve the environmental performance of Freie Universität," stated Lange. In the future other locations will be made available at Freie Universität for the construction of additional solar systems.