The power of the sun: solar electricity from photovoltaics

Photo of the installation of a solar system © Johannes Buldmann

An inexhaustible source of green energy

Solar energy has many advantages. It is 100% renewable, photovoltaic panels are robust, have a long lifespan and require little maintenance. Not to mention that the sun is a powerful resource – and above all, it’s free. This makes solar energy one of the most interesting sources of renewable electricity.

STRABAG wants to use the potential of photovoltaic electricity as effectively as possible. Already today, we offer a high level of photovoltaic expertise for both external customers and for in-house use. We have the capacity to plan and design a PV system from the ground up. And we possess the necessary expertise and means to successfully install that system.

What is a photovoltaic system?

A photovoltaic system consists of individual solar panels that convert sunlight into electrical energy. The panels are generally installed on rooftops or in open spaces facing south or southwest towards the sun. Each panel consists of many individual solar cells, usually made of silicon with glass surfaces, to make best use of the sunlight. The sun causes the electrons in the solar cells to move, which produces direct current that is then converted into alternating current by a so-called inverter. The alternating current can be used in the household or business, and any surplus can be fed into the public power grid.

Photo of the installation of photovoltaic systems

Everything from a single source: building a photovoltaic system

Our services include the construction of solar systems for external clients as well as for our own needs. STRABAG is currently building a large PV park in the Austrian town of Ratten with more than 26,000 solar panels on behalf of our client Wien Energie.

We use our expertise to realise these projects completely from a single source: from the bidding phase to the construction of the substructure and civil engineering work to the turnkey installation of the photovoltaic facility. Our in-house projects include fitting office roofs, open spaces and construction site containers with PV panels. This is why we have launched the Group-wide PV initiative project. The initiative aims to assess the potential of photovoltaic energy at STRABAG from an economic, ecological, and regulatory perspective. In this way, we want to become more independent in our energy supply and utilise solar power for our own use – at our locations and on our construction sites.

Is a photovoltaic solution worthwhile for companies?

STRABAG is aiming to become climate-neutral by 2040, and we are already now reducing our carbon emissions to achieve this goal. Projects in the energy sector are helping us master the energy transition while expanding our portfolio. In the process, we are focusing on our local know-how. We didn’t just start believing in the power of the sun yesterday – STRABAG has been building and using solar power facilities for over ten years. Photovoltaic systems on our office rooftops and open spaces provide electricity for in-house use and make us less dependent on electricity prices and external suppliers. Many new installations have been added in recent years, enabling us to cover a growing part of our electricity needs independently. Whatever we don’t use ourselves, we feed into the public power grid, thereby contributing to an overall greener energy supply. In Austria, the solar electricity generated can even be exchanged between the locations from 2025 onwards, thus reducing the total procurement volume and enabling the group to supply itself steadily with more of its own electricity.

Sunny outlook

The biggest hurdle that solar power still has to overcome is optimising its usability. At present, electricity flows best when the sun is shining. Electricity is still generated even when the sky is cloudy, but with reduced output. One solution for these fluctuations is battery storage, using excess energy to charge the storage unit. When there isn’t enough electricity in the grid, the battery storage system kicks in to ensure grid stability.

Photovoltaics is sure to be an important part of the energy transition. Current expectations are that solar and wind power will account for the largest share of green electricity generation. Solar energy is particularly successful in combination with other technologies. STRABAG is committed to the energy transition and believes that renewable energy sources will make an important contribution to climate neutrality. 

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