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Photovoltaic plant at Bologna interport

The Hera Group has built four photovoltaic plants on the roofs of the Magazzini Generali in the Bologna Interport zone between 2007 and 2011. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon technologies were used for the panels of plants 1, 2 and 4, and the new cadmium telluride film was used for plant 3.
The total panelled surface of the four plants is approximately 30,000 m2 and their total developed capacity is 3.2 MWp. The photovoltaic complex was built with input from a range of companies, from Padusa S.p.A. (the real estate firm that owns the logistics area) to the builders of the plant, which was designed by Hera S.p.A.'s engineering arm Fase Engineering (on behalf of the ERIS consortium, 51% controlled by Hera Comm) and CPL Concordia.

Plants 2, 3 and 4 were inaugurated on 21 October 2011 in the presence of Virginio Merola (Mayor of Bologna), Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano (Chairman of the Hera Group) and Luigi Castagna (Chairman of the Hera Committee for the region of Bologna).

After the start-up of first photovoltaic plant in 2007, the Hera Group, together with ERIS and HERA ENERGIE RINNOVABILI, built two new photovoltaic plants in 2010 on the roofs of the Magazzini Generali in Area 7 of Bologna Interport. The installation covers a total area of 42,000 m2, the equivalent of six football pitches (panelled surface 17,000 m2).


The two photovoltaic plants have an overall capacity of 2 MWp, resulting in annual production of around 2,400 MWh, the equivalent energy consumption of approximately 1,000 apartments.

One of the two plants uses traditional polycrystalline silicon technology (the same as that used in the first plant in 2007, Interport 1), while the other uses the new cadmium telluride film. For Hera, the joint development of two plants with the same capacity and in the same geographical location represents an excellent chance to compare the performances of the two different technologies used for the panels (silicon/cadmium).


These two photovoltaic plants will contribute towards the meeting of important sustainability goals:

  • Respect for national objectives as regards the limiting of emissions, established by the 1998 Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
  • 1,200 MWp of installed power in photovoltaic plants, as established by Ministerial Decree of 19/12/2007.

Finally, the last plant Interport 4 was built in 2011 using monocrystalline silicon technology on a panelled surface of 7,100 m2, with potential developed capacity of 995.40 kWp.


Environmental benefits

The start-up of the photovoltaic plant will produce major environmental benefits in comparison with traditional gas or combustible oil plants, which can be quantified as around 500 TEP/year (as the primary fossil fuels required to produce the same quantity of electricity are no longer used).

Comparison of emissions between traditional and photovoltaic plants
Combined cycle natural
gas plant (CCGT)
oil plant
Carbon dioxide
1,080 tonnes1,555 tonnes0
Carbon monoxide
685 kg315 kg0
Nitric oxide
800 kg3,200 kg0
Sulphur dioxide
019,500 kg0

Technical info

Interport 1

Interport 1
In service since 2007
Technology: Monocrystalline silicon
Panels: SHARP NU-S5E3E (185 Wp)
Inverter: 3 x Elettronica Santerno Sunway 600V TG 75
Number of modules: 1,096 divided into 3 photovoltaic subfields
Number of arrays: 60 (17 or 19 modules)
Panelled surface: 1,400 m2 approx.

Monocrystalline silicon

Interport 2

Interport 2
: Polycrystalline silicon
Panels: Kyocera KD210GH-PU (210 Wp)
Inverter: 3 x Power One PVI-Central 300-TL
Number of modules: 4,800 divided into 20 photovoltaic subfields
Number of arrays: 200 (24 modules each)
Panelled surface: 7,100 m2 approx.

Silicon panel

Interport 3

Interport 3
: Thin cadmium telluride film (CdTe)
Panels: First Solar FS275 (75 Wp)
Inverter: 3 x Power One PVI-Central 300-TL
Number of modules: 13,383 divided into 20 photovoltaic subfields
Number of arrays: 1,487 (9 modules each)
Panelled surface: 9,600 m2 approx.

Cadmium telluride panel

Interport 4

Interport 4
Monocrystalline silicon
Panels: Sun Earth TDB 125x125-72-P (180 Wp)
Inverter: 77 x Power One Aurora PVI-12.5-OUTD-ITL
Number of modules: 5,544
Panelled surface: 7,100 m2

Monocrystalline silicon


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