Solar panels in cold climate solve future energy challenges

Solvåg - The new world-class facility for solar energy research in cold climate.

Josefin jaén nilsson 17 September 2018
Solvåg symbolizes what we as science park stand for, how we contribute to innovation by bringing together science and business and then add something unexpected.

The interest for renewable energy is growing stronger and the work to convert Sweden into a fossil free society continues. But which energy sources are ideal in Sweden? The technology for solar panels is moving fast and solar energy is one of the cheapest ways to produce and deliver energy in many parts of the world today. But is it an option for Sweden? Or to be more precise – the north of Sweden?


That’s what Piteå Science Park together with PiteEnergi, Luleå University of Technology, RISE ETC wants to investigate and develop at the new world-class facility for solar energy research in cold climate - Solvåg.
 
Why invest in solar panels in the cold climate of the north of Sweden?

- Solvåg is our third investment in solar production since 2010. The facilities have been the foundation of several research projects thanks to the region's many hours of sunshine. Together with customer benefit and consideration, sustainability is our most important driving force, which makes our investments natural to us, says Anders Ådemo, Marketing Manager at Piteenergi. 

The facility contains 117 double sided solar panels that capture sunlight on the front and reflect light on the back. These are located against different point of the compass and with different angles of inclination towards the sun. The purpose of the facility is to review which location and efficiency are most effective. For example, the solar radiation can be very intense in winter when the panels are reflected on the snow.

- Solvåg is a way for us to investigate how solar panels would work in our climate, says Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Energy at the opening ceremony.


What does Solvåg mean for Piteå and Piteå Science Park?

 - Solvåg symbolizes what we as science park stand for, how we contribute to innovation by bringing together science and business and then add something unexpected, says Anna Mård, Innovation Manager at Piteå Science Park.

The facility started out as a closed area for research and science only but now Solvåg is also an accessible open green park and social meeting place.

- Solvåg puts Piteå and Norrbotten on the map again in terms of important energy initiatives and innovative solutions for challenges of the future. It creates curiosity and trust in our business and, it will hopefully provide more startups within the cleantech area.