First Norway’s apartment house BIPV – built by SoliTek
The first apartment house with integrated solar power plant in Norway’s second largest city of Bergen is ready. What’s so special about it? The solar power plant is installed not only traditionally – on the roof, but also integrated into the façade of the building facing southwest. This building is first of its kind in Norway.
Don’t get it wrong – there are lots of traditional roof-mounted solar systems in Norway. In this case, it is an energy system integrated into the walls, that work both as a façade and a power plant.
Julija Kaladžinskaitė, the BIPV business developer at SoliTek, says the planning and implementation of such project is a major challenge. SoliTek, in 2019 celebrating a healthy 10 years in European solar business, is entering still a little-explored area, as BIPV projects are just starting to pop-up one by one, not only in the Baltics, but all across the Europe.
“This new, very high-potential solar technology market is still in its infancy stage. BIPV panels are much more resilient than most building materials, meet the safety glass category, are 100% fire resistant and produce electricity. Using such technologies and well-planned construction can save some money in the long run,” says Julija Kaladžinskaitė from SoliTek.
The BIPV system in Bergen will supply electricity for the shared needs of the house, as well will be used for charging e-cars. EU is increasingly controlling the origin of electricity used for e-charging, so with every year governments give more and more priority to electricity from renewable sources.
According to Julija’s estimates, SoliTek’s solar power plant will produce at least 42,000 kWh/year. The real numbers are expected to be higher.
Tomas Plassen, Heldal Eiendom AS project Manager, estimates: installing BIPV solution is more costly than plain façade, but not dramatically. It would cost the company 255 EUR per sq. m. to install a high-quality façade, while the cost of a BIPV will be around 378 EUR /sq. m. Total cost of this particular 160 sq. m. BIPV solution will be around 51.000 EUR – not a big deal considering a total 16.4 mln. EUR price tag of the building.
The SoliTek BIPV solution will produce energy enough for 2 typical Norwegian residential houses through the year.
SoliTek’s Julija emphasizes not only economic benefits of BIPV, but aesthetic value, too. The dark glass façade gives the building a sense of modernity & blends organically in the surrounding “woody” environment. In addition, the design and sizes of the solar panels can be adapted to the architect’s requirements, if necessary.
According to Julija, in order to have a successful BIPV project, it’s crucial for a solar technology supplier to cooperate with a construction company from the very beginning.
The solar technology supplier should be involved even in the first architectural meetings, only this way can be ensured a good integration of BIPV solution. Like this one, in Bergen, Norway.