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University of Cologne puts photovoltaic system into operation

The expansion of sustainable energy sources is part of the university's sustainability strategy / The plant will cut CO2 emissions by 50,000 kilograms per year

Photovoltaic system on the roof of the Student Service Center

The University of Cologne has commissioned a photovoltaic system with a peak power of almost 125 kilowatt peak (kWp, unit for maximum power) on the building of the Student Service Center (SSC) on Universitätsstraße. The almost 300 photovoltaic modules with an area of 588 square meters generate 105,000 kilowatt hours of electrical energy per year, thereby reducing the university’s CO2 emissions by approximately 50,000 kilograms. This corresponds annually to the CO2 reduction equivalent to the effect of 3,942 adult beech trees – a forest area almost the size of a football field. 85 percent of the generated climate-neutral energy is used directly to meet the SSC's own needs, with excess energy being fed into the national power grid. The investment costs for the plant amounted to 200,000 euros with a construction period of five months.

Professor Kirk W. Junker, Vice-Rector for Sustainability at the University of Cologne, explained: “The University of Cologne systematically integrates sustainability in the fields of research, teaching and knowledge transfer, but not least in its own campus operations. The continuous reduction of fossil fuel consumption is an essential part of our sustainability strategy. With the successful commissioning of the photovoltaic system on the roof of the SSC, the university has taken another important step towards being a sustainable university. This shows that as a university, we want to live up to our responsibility toward society, especially future generations.”

“The university plans to gradually install more photovoltaic systems on its roofs, and a large part of the measures in the university's sustainability strategy relate to the construction and operation of our properties. I would like to thank the employees of our technical facility management for their commitment to this important topic,” said the Chancellor of the University of Cologne, Karsten Gerlof.

The university not only designs energy-saving measures, but also builds and operates renewable energy systems. To this end, the construction of the photovoltaic system on the roof of the SSC is a first step on the University of Cologne campus. As part of the inauguration of the university’s new ecological research branch in Rees on the Lower Rhine, a photovoltaic system with an output of 25 kWp has already been put into operation there. In the course of the master plan for the university site development, buildings with outdated energy systems are gradually being completely replaced, an example of which is the new construction of the chemistry institutes on the Mathematics and Natural Sciences’ Campus.


Media Contact:
Wolfgang Diesner
University of Cologne
Head of Technical Facility Management (Dept. 53)
+49 221 470 2501

Press and Communications Teams:
Robert Hahn
+49 221 470 2396