For the first time, this year’s Christmas tree in front of the entrance of Exhibition Centre Nuremberg in Germany is being lit up using the centre’s own solar power.
NürnbergMesse is producing the first green electricity from its own photovoltaic (PV) system, a process that involves 12,700 solar panels installed on the roofs of exhibition halls 3, 3A and 3C and the multi-storey Nord car park. The solar panels on top of halls 3A and 3C are providing 1.9 MWp that is being fed to the power grid and, by the summer of 2024, NürnbergMesse aims to install 21,000 solar panels on seven exhibition halls and the multi-storey car park, to then reach a total output of around 9 MWp.
Its capacity of around 9 million kWh a year can supply a town with more than 7,000 residents. This means that in a single complex of buildings, NürnbergMesse will have the largest photovoltaic system of any company in which the State of Bavaria is a stakeholder.
The first construction phase for the solar power system, including innovative second-life battery storage, will see around €15m invested by NürnbergMesse
“The commissioning of the solar power system is a milestone for NürnbergMesse on its path to CO2-neutrality. The system is an absolute showpiece and is making an important contribution to the energy transition – not just for the State of Bavaria, but also for the German trade fair industry,” said Albert Füracker, Bavarian minister of finance and home affairs and deputy chair of the NürnbergMesse supervisory board.
Nuremberg’s mayor Marcus König, the chair of the supervisory board of NürnbergMesse, expands: “By producing its own solar power, NürnbergMesse is resolutely continuing its path to sustainability, while at the same time setting a strong example for climate protection in the city and metropolitan region of Nuremberg!”
“With the PV system we have made a major step towards having a completely CO2-neutral energy supply by 2028,” explains Peter Ottmann, CEO of NürnbergMesse. By May 2024, an additional 3.7 MWp will be fed to the grid thanks to the solar panels on the roofs of exhibition halls 3 and 11 and the multi-storey Nord car park.
NürnbergMesse is also relying on artificial intelligence in conjunction with the installation of the solar power system. The trade fair company worked with its system planning partner HEITEC Innovation GmbH to develop what is known as a “digital twin”, which will enable efficient load management in the planning and operation of the system.
Now NürnbergMesse is already thinking about its next move: the expansion of the PV modules to around 20 MWp, which would then allow up to a total of 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity to be generated. This would be equivalent to the consumption of a small town with around 20,000 inhabitants.
NürnbergMesse has also reinforced its Product Management team by recruiting Victoria Vehse, an event manager with extensive experience and expertise in the exhibitions business. Vehse, comes from Messe Freiburg and will be joining NürnbergMesse Group as a new division head at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg, starting 1 March 2024.