SOLON press

News 2009.

The "SOLON" sets sail - Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit and SolarWaterWorld launch the capital city's fist solar-powered passenger ship

Berlin, 12 August 2009. Climate-friendly solar mobility now on water - Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit sent a clear signal supporting the expansion of climate-friendly mobility at a ceremony to launch the "SOLON", the capital city's first passenger ship that is driven solely by solar energy. The Berlin-based solar company that the ship is named after also supplied the 24 solar modules with a capacity of 5.6 kWp that are fitted to the ship's roof and supply its drive energy. SolarWaterWorld AG, the manufacturer and operator of the "SOLON", also operates the world's first solar charging station for solar-powered boats in the Köpenick district of Berlin. The company has more than seventeen years' experience in the research and development of solar shipping.

"We are pleased that in SOLON SE we have a strong partner that is involved in the wide-ranging expansion of climate-friendly solar mobility," says Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Meyer, CEO of SolarWaterWorld AG and an expert in flow-optimized solar-propulsion catamarans. "The future belongs to solar mobility, whether on roads, rails or water and SOLON is one of the main drivers of this development," says Thomas Krupke, CEO of SOLON SE, on the occasion of the launch.

The C60 solar catamaran can accommodate up to 60 passengers and will sail on Berlin's waterways providing tours of the city and cruise trips. The ship offers a tangible sign that emission-free mobility is advancing also for inland shipping. A prototype of this craft completed its first Atlantic crossing to New York in 2006/2007. SolarWaterWorld now sells production-built C60 catamarans worldwide. The company also offers a smaller solution in the form of the SunCat23, which can be sailed without a license in Germany and is therefore also suitable for use by boat hire companies. Another advantage of solar-powered ships and boats is that they are unaffected by future fuel price increases. Effectively the owner of a solar boat also acquires a 25 year supply of fuel with the craft. The long-term operating costs of these types of boats and ships can therefore be calculated more reliably.

SolarWaterWorld AG was set up in March 2001 in Hameln, Germany. The company has its origins in the Institute for Solar Shipbuilding (Institut für Solarschiffbau). The institute's knowledge and expertise in building solar-powered ships was integrated into SolarWaterWorld AG Berlin which is based in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. SolarWaterWorld AG aims to combine the environmentally friendly use of solar energy sources with shipbuilding and to market solar-driven water vehicles around the world.

SOLON SE is one of the largest solar module manufacturers in Europe and a supplier of solar power plants. The SOLON group is represented by subsidiaries in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and the USA and employs around 900 people globally. SOLON's core business is the production of solar modules and photovoltaic systems, and the construction of turnkey solar power plants around the world.

SolarWaterWorld AG
Arno Paulus
Phone: +49 (0)175/8030880
Phone: +49 (0)30/61209091

Sylvia Ratzlaff
Public Relations

Phone: +49 (0)30/81879-9310
Fax: +49 (0)30/81879-9300

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