Audi to test solar-power roof panels

Audi will have solar panels installed on the roof of its assembly plant in Germany, for practical testing of new photovoltaic technologies by Munich-based Green City Energy.

In the weeks ahead, photovoltaic modules will be installed over 11,600 square metres of the roof. The modules are expected to generate more than 1,000 MWh of electricity each year, comparable to the consumption of 220 four-person households, the company said.

Modules on the roof of the toolmaking shop, on a parking deck at the technical development centre, and a third location south of the plant will begin supplying the power grid in early 2010.

The company also plans to install another 8,700 square metres of modules in Ingolstadt, while discussions are under way to review other Audi sites in Neckarsulm. As early as next year, photovoltaic modules could cover a roof area of 33,000 square metres.