Below is a report about the SHEAB project which is designated to harvesting solar PV in central Sweden.
The SHEAB Project
by Hans Nyhlén
In two small municipalities, Sala and Heby, located north of Västerås and West of Uppsala, is the home for Swedens first and only (?) multiple-owned economic association investing in Solar PV.
It all started in 2008, when the municipality-owned energy company Sala-Heby Energi AB (SHE) wanted, as the first energy supplier in Sweden, to offer its customers to trade with electricity from the sun. A number of options were presented to SHE´s customers in the autumn of 2008 and a specific offer was made. Solel i Sala och Heby Ekonomisk förening was then formed in the spring of 2009 as a result of this work. The first co-owned photovoltaic facility was built in Sala in September 2009 and since then, a new PV plant has been built every year. During this short period of time the specific investment cost of turnkey solar PV plants has fallen by more than 70 %!
Today the co-owned economic association has nearly 200 members, mostly private persons but also a handful of companies. The total installed PV capacity is 200 kWp, giving approximately 180 000 kWh annually. These figures are growing though, since more members are joining and some old members buy more shares. During the first five years, the association has decided to use all its incomes and membership fees to build up a palette of Solar PV plants. Thereafter, the electricity production from the PV plants will give members cheap electricity for a long time, combined with continued commissioning of new solar PV plants.
The formation of Solel i Sala and Heby ekonomisk förening shows that it is possible to take advantage of a local interest, from both private persons and companies, in solar electricity and turn it into construction of large photovoltaic systems. It also shows that it can be done in a relatively short time.