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Delhaize demonstrates environmental commitment with world´s largest Solyndra installation

8th June 2011
ES Admin
Solyndra International AG, a subsidiary of Solyndra LLC, the manufacturer of the fastest, easiest to install cylindrical photovoltaic (PV) systems for commercial rooftops, today announced completion of a 3MW rooftop solar system in Zellik, Belgium.
The 3MW rooftop installation covers a Delhaize distribution center in Zellik, a Brussels suburb. The project was completed by solar integrator U|S|E AG, a Solyndra Platinum Solution Provider based in Reutlingen, Germany, with its Belgium subsidiary Enerdeal. Delhaize, an international supermarket chain with over 2,800 stores worldwide, and 805 stores in Belgium and Luxemburg, is a winner of the Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Belgian multi-national has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, and rooftop solar is a part of its strategy.

“Having worked with Solyndra on previous installations, the choice of supplier was an easy one,” said Denis Knoops, Senior Vice President Business & Concept Development & New Business Opportunities of Delhaize Belgium. “The innovative panel design allows us to maximize the installed capacity, reducing our CO2 emissions by 600 tons annually on these distribution center roofs alone. We have a strong commitment to achieving environmental goals, and Solyndra ensures those goals become a reality.”

Non-recourse financing included assistance from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and KBC Bank NV. KBC provided lower-cost, non-recourse project financing with the loan guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank under its Solar Express program. Ex-Im’s streamlined Solar Express process for rooftop PV financings resulted in approval for the Delhaize project in just a few weeks. The Zellik installation consists of more than 17,000 Solyndra solar modules covering 34,000 m² of roof space and generates an annual yield of approximately 2,400 MWh, enough to power more than 700 households.

“We are very happy with the outcome of this project that was completed hand-in-hand with Solyndra,” said Arnold Berens, CEO of U|S|E. “Their simple, non-penetrating, flat-mounting system allows for the maximum level of roof coverage. This helps companies like ours carry out quick and simple installations, reducing costs while maximizing yields per square meter - a solution that keeps both building owners and their insurers happy.”

Timothy Kim, in the Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance group of Ex-Im Bank said, The Delhaize project represents a significant milestone for Ex-Im Bank and its Solar Express Program. Ultimately, this deal demonstrates Ex-Im Bank's commitment to U.S. exporters such as Solyndra, as well as to foreign companies that wish to purchase high quality U.S. goods. Ex-Im Bank thanks Solyndra and KBC Bank for their dedication and support, a strong collaborative effort which drove this deal to the finish line.

“I’m very pleased to announce that KBC was able to play a significant role in the financing of this exciting PV project of Belgian retailer Delhaize. The solar panels used are manufactured by Solyndra and installed by USE, also a KBC client.” said Dirk Mampaey, senior general manager KBC Corporate Banking. “In that regard I also want to thank the US 'Export Import Bank' for its constructive and helpful role by delivering the necessary guarantees for this transaction. Furthermore, I’m confident that our 'KBC Renewable Energy Team' will be able to leverage the additional acquired knowhow and experience, from this particular project, in future renewable energy investment projects to the benefit of other corporate clients”.

Supermarkets and distribution centers are typically some of today’s largest flat-roofed commercial buildings, making them ideal for the installation of solar panels. Solyndra’s innovative solar module design allows the panels to be oriented in any direction with minimal effect on the levels of generated energy.

Using copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and thin film technology, the modules generate electricity from direct, diffuse and reflected sunlight. USE added a white Sure-Weld thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roof membrane from Carlisle SynTec to simultaneously maximize reflected light capture and further reduce costs through building cooling.

“We are very happy to be able to help Delhaize to realize the economic and environmental potential of their rooftops”, comments Clemens Jargon, Solyndra’s president of EMEA. “This installation bears testimony to our desire and ability to engage with large scale distributed energy projects at a time when more and more corporations are seeing the hidden value in their fixed rooftop assets. Solyndra technology allows them to meet their environmental goals and delivers great results to their bottom line.”

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