Falköping, West Sweden. Resting among green hills, dotted by ancient megaliths, and a beloved spot for admiring the dance of flocks of cranes – an event that each year brings many visitors to this otherwise tranquil place, this small city with its 18000 inhabitants is guarded, so the legend says, by fierce warriors that will emerge from the mountains if the city was ever to be attacked.
Farms painted in traditional deep red are scattered across the countryside. We meet (virtually) Paul Bothén at one of these farms, where his team, Solenergi Sverige AB, has just completed a 17,6 kWp solar installation on the rooftop of one such building.
Farms: fighting climate change and building a brand with solar
Farming – and related activities such as dairy processing, with locally produced milk and cheese supplied to stores across all Sweden- have an important role in this area. Farmers are Solenergi’s main customers, and a group that are sensitive to environmental issues for several reasons. ‘The effects of climate change are tangible throughout their daily lives. Increasingly drier seasons affect the crops – climate change is of course also associated with the use of fossil energy. So being able to farm in a sustainable way is paramount to them, mainly for practical reasons, rather than for ideological ones. Farmers are well educated in many things solar, from subsidies and incentives (current subsidy schemes for solar installations are granted 15% of the total installation costs and a tax deduction / 0.06 EUR feed-in-tariff), to awareness of price/quality mismatch in the offers. They really are like „micro economy ministers” when it comes to running their business. Farmers in the region also attempt to “stand out from the crowd” through quality offerings for their milk or meat. Adopting renewable energy is commensurate with this e_ ort, it adds to their business image and brand building. This understanding of brand, quality and value is what brought them to us, supporting them in the process of going solar.’
A trust relationship with the customers
Solenergi’s relationship to their customers is based on quality and trust. They have delivered rooftop solutions from 15 to 100 KWp: ‘Our customers entrust us with an investment, and we want them to feel confident that the installation will deliver the highest yields, and that it will be compliant with all the requirements set by grid authorities and insurance companies. For this reason, we are constantly training and educating our team, and only offer premium products and brands. Put simply, we want our customers to feel safe with us!’
Choosing quality, premium look and ease of installation
For the 17.6 kWp installation in Falköping, Paul chose AEG high efficiency monocrystalline full black modules (330 Wp), and TRITEC’s full black inlay system. ‘AEG modules have high efficiency and deliver consistent yields, backed by the measurements we took at the end of the installation process. Their premium black optics are loved by our customers – flawless looks is indeed a factor our customers are always eager to consider. The installation process was totally smooth, the TRITEC inlay system we used is really optimal for trapezoidal rooftop installations. The modules are inserted in the aluminum profile and are held in place by their own weight and the clever profile design, so they do not need to be screwed in. This saves installation time, full black color is a perfect match with the AEG module, delivering a premium look to the whole installation.’
The barn where the installation is set will be repurposed as a workshop. Creating a solar rooftop was an extra way to add value to the existing building. This is a growing trend and more and more farms in West Sweden are contributing today and will contribute in the near future to the country’s renewable energy transition.