Norway leads most of the world in making electricity from renewable sources. It has abundant hydroelectric power, so much of it in fact that it sells the excess to other countries, including the UK. In all, Norway gets more than 90% of its electricity from renewables. It also promotes the use of electric cars by offering its citizens generous financial incentives and other perquisites. Recently, Norway has initiated a move to power much of its coastal shipping with electricity.
With Norway’s focus on renewable energy, it should come as no surprise that a new EV charging station at the Asko East industrial park outside the city of Vestby will be powered by solar power. Vestby is situated about 50 miles south of Oslo. The new facility will have ten charging stations under a covered roof. 75 south facing solar panels, each rated at 270 watts per hour, will be mounted on the roof. Together, they are expected to generate up to 16,000 kWh of electricity a year — enough to power a Tesla Model S for more than 47,000 miles.
The solar system is being built by Fusen, Inc. Its CEO, Thor Christian Tuv, tells Pursuits Green, “We have previously been involved in a carport demonstration plant, but this is the first major installation of such a solution in Norway.” The panels themselves are sensitive to light both from above and below, so that light reflected back from the ground will also help make electricity. Tuv says this is the first time these type of solar cells have been installed in Scandanavia.
Lars Erik Olsen, technical manager for the Asko East industrial complex ,says that solar installations offer more benefits than just economics. He says there are intangible benefits to consider as well, including letting workers and visitors to the site know that the company is investing in clean renewable energy for everyone’s benefit. The solar array is situated so that it is visible to all who enter the facility.
The surrounding buildings themselves are powered by a roof mounted solar system that provides 280,000 kWh of electricity annually. The solar EV chargers are scheduled to be completed and fully operational in January, 2016.
Leif Hansen, who lives in Norway, contributed to this story.