Minimize consumption. Reduce pollution.
Water consumption and protecting water quality are particularly important to SolarWorld. We are aware of the scarcity of the resource and therefore use it efficiently and sustainably. We are constantly reducing our water consumption and also working continuously to limit and reduce the water pollution we cause.
To achieve this, SolarWorld recirculates the water used with the goal of steadily increasing the percentage of this recycled water.
By working together with the aid organization Water Missions International, we are installing solar power systems to operate water pumps, thus taking steps to ensure the availability of drinking water and increased quality of life in developing countries.
- Freiberg process water treatment, approximately 48 m³/day rinse water is returned to the natural cycle
- Inconspicuous resource in Hillsboro (Sunday October 2012, „Inconspicuous resource - How water is being used in Hillsboro “- more information can be found here)
Goals for 2020
- Reduction of water consumption (in m3/MWp) by 10%
- Reduction of waste water (in m3/MWp) by 10%
With a system from SolarWorld, you actively contribute to environmental protection by supporting a company which uses the precious resource water with extreme care:
Analysis of our industrial wastewater has confirmed that total toxic organic compounds are far below the regulatory thresholds.
Over the years, total water consumption has increased due to increased production. The decline in production in 2012 is therefore also reflected in total water consumption: 1,260,735 (2011: 1,466,030) m³. We derive our water in almost equal parts from the municipal water supply and surface water (collected precipitation and water from above-ground bodies). Most of the water used in production is recirculated; in other words, we treat and reuse it. Recirculated water continuously accounts for between 15 and 20 percent of the water used group-wide. The overall amount of waste water is 997,022 (2011: 1,404,641) m³ and is disposed of through the municipal sewer system.
The quality of our waste water complies with the strict specifications in place in Germany and the United States. In a first step waste water is precleaned at our production sites, and in the second step passed on to water treatment plants. At our production sites there are clear legal limits for waste water, and their observance is ensured by the cities.
Heavy metal concentration levels (mg/l)
|Unpolar oil and fats||100||Not specified|
|Total toxic organic substances*|| Emissions going beyond the
above mentioned substances
can be limited or prohibited.
|pH-Value||6.0 - 11.0||6.5 - 10.0|
*If US wide laws stipulate different concentration levels, the stricter standard will be effective.
Hillsboro: Heavy metal in the rainwater
|Average||Copper (mg/l)||Lead (mg/l)||Tin (mg/l)|
Chemical Oxygen Demand and Total Dissolved Solids
|Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) in mg/l||Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in mg/l|
|2009||767||1,143||4,016||A threshold or monitoring value
for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
are not available in Freiberg.
It is not a usual sum parameter
for the wastewater monitoring
Compliance with environmental regulations and licensing requirements is monitored during the internal environmental audits (compliance audits). For this, the environmental regulations are documented in an environmental law register and a permit register.These registers are updated regularly and made available on the company’s Intranet, thus enabling quick response and implementation of necessary corrective measures.
SolarWorld cooperates with Water Missions International (WMI) in the area of solar water treatment. Solar energy can be used to achieve an important leveraging effect. For example, only six solar modules are needed to operate a water treatment system that can provide clean drinking water to up to 5,000 people. SolarWorld supports WMI by offering one free module for every ten modules WMI purchases from SolarWorld. Through WMI, SolarWorld donated 4.5 kWp solar modules for water treatment to help those affected by flooding in the Amazon basin in Spring 2012. SolarWorld is also donating a 100 kWp system for WMI’s new headquarters at the port of Charleston, South Carolina. We also convinced our business partners to participate in the project. SMA is providing the inverters for the project at no charge, and our partner Mount View Solar in West Virginia is installing the system for free.