Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution (PTD) Group (Erlangen, Germany) has received an order from PowerLight Corp. (Berkeley, California, U.S.) to provide all of the electrical equipment for the Bavaria Solarpark Photovoltaic Plant.

Using silicone panels, the plant will convert sunlight directly into electricity, generating output of 10 MW. The order, which is worth 4 million euro, includes the delivery of transformers, switchgear, inverters, cabling and terminations. The system is scheduled to commence operation in 2005, thereby becoming the most powerful of its kind in the world.

Comprising 57,600 solar panels, the 10 MW photovoltaic system built by PowerLight Corp. will cover a total area of 25 hectares (61.7 acres) at three Bavarian locations: MĂĽhlhausen, GĂĽnching and Minihof.

On this project, PowerLight Corp. will use an innovation known as Power Tracker, a technology in which solar panels automatically follow the travel of the sun. The yield of this approach is more efficient than that of a rigid system in which panels are installed at a fixed angle of inclination.

Siemens PTD will supply 10 20-kV transformers, five gas-insulated switchgear assemblies of type 8DJ20 and 27 (Sinvert solar inverters rated for 340-kVA). The plant will also feature a control system based on Simatic PCS7, enabling all data to be recorded and evaluated via WinCC. Siemens will be responsible for connecting the plant to the public power supply network as well as maintaining the inverters.

Bavaria Solarpark is scheduled to produce more than 215 million kWh of environmentally friendly power over the next 20 years. l