Greenbuddies Tips – November 2022

Prague Congress Centre goes green with 1 MW rooftop PV installed by Greenbuddies

The roof of the Prague Congress Centre is currently being filled with solar panels which are installed by Greenbuddies. This is one of the largest rooftop solar power installations in the Czech Republic.  With this project, Greenbuddies start the construction phase of projects in the Czech market

The site of the Congress Centre will accommodate over two thousand solar panels, which will have a capacity of almost 1 MW. The installation technicians are working at a height of 40 m and laying almost 20,000 metres of cables. SolarEdge inverters are used, which minimise the voltage during a fault and are thus suitable for reducing the risk of fires. Additionally, modern roof construction technology allows for fixation by simply loading, without the need to drill into the roof. Concrete tiles weighing more than 62 tonnes are used for this purpose.

Chief Technical Buddy Marcel Hrubý at work on site

“We have covered all stages of the project, from preparing the project documentation to securing all permits and purchasing components for the construction and commissioning of the supplied technology,” says Aleš Spáčil, Chief Sales Buddy.

During the permitting process, the investor and the contractor consulted with the conservation authorities and the metro administration. Issues related to the appearance and visibility of the solar installation on the roof had to be addressed through visualisations and video simulations, and a small sample of the plant had to be built directly on the roof as part of the approval process. Thanks to the constructive and practical approach of the conservationists, the permitting process was successfully completed. As the Congress Centre is partly located in the metro protection zone, the entire project was also approved by the Prague City Transport Company.

The project was commissioned by ČEZ ESCO, with whom Greenbuddies has established a cooperation in the Czech Republic. In addition to the Congress Centre, several projects are already under construction. Among other projects being built at the moment is a rooftop power plant of the Unipress printing press in Turnov. Other projects in the pre-project phase include the rooftops of the discount chain PENNY, Ravak and the redevelopment of an unutilized plot of land in the industrial zone of the Kolín car factory in Ovčáry.

Greenbuddies cooperation with discount chain PENNY

The use of photovoltaics is not only a profitable solution for households but also an important source of financial optimization for companies. More and more companies are choosing to reduce their electricity costs by installing a photovoltaic system. Gaining energy independence in the reality of unpredictable and rising energy prices is an important way to reduce a company’s costs.

It is therefore not surprising that the largest discount chain in the country, PENNY, has chosen to install PV on the roofs of its stores across the country. PENNY has already installed solar technology on several of its stores and plans on installing dozens more, including one in Prague’s Ládví district. The average output of these rooftop installations is around 70 kWp.

Penny Market Ládví, Prague, Source:

PENNY decided to handle the Ládví project with Greenbuddies in Prague in the form of EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction), which means in the form of a complete solution, where GreenBuddies handle everything from initial administrative services to planning, ordering of materials, and the actual installation of photovoltaic panels and other accessories. The pre-implementation phase in these cases involves the planning, of both the power plant itself and the electrical installation. It also includes the process leading to obtaining a building permit and approval from the electricity distributor to connect the PV installation to the grid.

For the two projects that are now in the pre-implementation phase, the plan is also to install battery systems that will allow more efficient use of solar energy. The batteries store the excess electricity generated by the panels, increasing the energy capacity and allowing the energy to be used at night or on cloudy days. They are therefore ideal for shops that, for example, have to keep their freezers on overnight.

Together with our colleagues at PENNY, we expect the first site to be ready for implementation during the first quarter of next year. Delivery and installation of the individual projects will then get fully underway with the selected contractors over the coming months.

Moreover, carbon footprint tracking as part of non-financial reporting next to the broader concept of corporate social responsibility in Czech companies is still far from being the norm. PENNY has decided to contribute to reducing this and has therefore invested significantly in resources in this area. We at Greenbuddies are proud that our colleagues at PENNY have chosen our company for the preparatory phase of their project, and we firmly believe that we will be able to offer them effective support during the implementation phase.

Q&A Session with Greenbuddies

As our Greenbuddies team in the planning and building phase is growing each month, we would like to introduce our newest additions with the following questionnaire.

Development Buddy Jan Pavlík – an expert property hunter with experience working with large corporations

HR Buddy  Helena Ciglanská – an accomplished HR manager, focused on hiring new “Buddies” and taking care of our growing team

Sales Buddy Ondřej Větrovský – a multifaceted salesman with media industry expertise

From Jan, Helena, and Ondřej’s comments to our Q&A, you may learn more about them below.

Jan Pavlík

• What surprised you the most about working with Greenbuddies?

For over 20 years I worked for multinational corporate companies where you spend most of your working time fighting for your position. There are processes, guidelines, and spreadsheets for everything. Getting any idea through is a long haul. At Greenbuddies, they listen to what you have to say and without delay, someone responds and addresses it with you.

• If you could change one thing about the solar industry, what would it be?

Definitely the legislation in CR. Everything else is already figured out. Building the plant is basically the shortest part of the whole process. And at a time when the pressure for cheaper energy is increasing enormously, unfortunately, the state administration is not reacting to current developments and therefore delaying implementation.

• What do you do when you’re not working?

I try to spend time with my family. When I have time, I watch a good movie or a TV show. I like to cook and travel.

Helena Ciglanská

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

Friendliness, cohesiveness, openness, professionalism.

• Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with Greenbuddies.

The words of co-owner and CFO Ondrej Vodslon are that the core product of Greenbuddies is its people, so we have to take good care of them. This HR “policy” works well for me, as HR.

• How would (someone) describe you?

I have heard various things already, but the last time someone called me a tsunami 😊

Ondřej Větrovský

• What was your first impression of Greenbuddies?

They are professional, friendly, and open-minded people enjoying what they do.

• What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done about the Renewables/Solar industry?

Speeding up legislation for communities, creating an environment for independent and self-sufficient households and communities.

• What would you tell someone who is thinking about building a PV plant?

Don’t hesitate and go for it!