Inverters manufactured by SMA Solar Technology AG have been officially crowned zero carbon following an independent audit.

The UK arm of the German manufacturer appointed the independent verifier CICS to determine the carbon footprint of the company’s manufacturing facility in Kassel, Germany.

SMA’s Solar Works 1 factory was opened in 2009 and is capable of producing around 4,000 units a day. The factory was designed from the ground up to maximise energy efficiency, with building envelope manufactured to the German Low Energy Building Standard. The building also utilises a smart ventilation system as well as maximising natural light to ensure that the building remains cool.

Powering the factory is an onsite 1MW solar PV array as well as a combined heat and power plant which produces carbon-neutral power and heat from local biogas. Supplementary heating is also drawn from a nearby renewable waste incineration plant. When required, additional renewable energy is bought in to cover the factory’s complete power consumption.

Following the audit, CICS verified and certified the factory to the globally recognised ISO 14064-1:2006 standard covering the scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. The news makes SMA’s factory the world’s largest PV inverter manufacturing facility to achieve zero scope 2 carbon.

Jan van Laethem, General Manager SMA Solar UK Ltd, said: “SMA’s inverter technology already makes a significant contribution to the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. Our inverters are at the heart of solar PV systems around the world which produce clean renewable energy for householders and businesses.

“Now with news that our manufacturing facility in Germany has been officially declared zero scope 2 carbon we can safely say our products are manufactured in a verified facility.”

He adds: “We believe it’s not enough for solar PV systems to simply produce zero carbon energy. Manufacturers of all PV system components need to go one step further and demonstrate their commitment to lowering CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process as well.

“At SMA we have demonstrated that it is possible to manufacture solar PV technology without negatively impacting on the environment. This is crucial if the solar industry is to convince its customers of the green credentials of its products.”