Inspenet, September 30, 2023.
In a step forward in the transition towards cleaner energy sources, SIG, in collaboration with the canton of Geneva, Switzerland, has introduced a cycle path equipped with a photovoltaic system with solar panels. This cycle path is located along the Satigny cantonal road and has been equipped with 486 bifacial solar modules in a 200 meter section.
Multipurpose cycle path
This innovative cycling track not only serves as a protected place for cyclists during adverse weather conditions, but also harnesses solar energy . Solar modules are waterproof and at the same time have the ability to generate electricity. With a solar surface area spanning more than 860 m 2 , this structure is anticipated to produce approximately 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year.
The effectiveness of this installation is based on the use of bifacial modules. These can generate between 5% and 15% more energy. The electricity generated is injected directly into Geneva’s electrical distribution network, which is strategically located beneath the same cycle path.
The canton of Geneva together with SIG intends to identify other areas that may be appropriate for the implementation of solar systems. As part of this commitment, in 2021 SIG called an architectural competition with the aim of conceiving a prototype of a solar roof for cycle paths. The winning proposal was developed by Colucci & Colucci – Design and Architecture. This structure, built on a recycled concrete foundation and a secondary structure made of local wood, has been designed with aesthetics in mind, so that it blends harmoniously into the landscape environment.
Although the initial investment to develop this prototype amounted to approximately 1.5 million Swiss francs, SIG considers this investment as a long-term bet. It is anticipated that as similar projects are repeated, costs could be reduced. In addition to electricity generation, SIG also values the aesthetic integration of the facility into its environment. More projects of this type are already being evaluated, not only in Geneva, but throughout Switzerland.