Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit has formal launched the first passengership deriving its power from solar energy. The SOLON is a zero emission ship, producing clean and green energy and running on alternative fuels. It is manufactured by Solon SE a Berlinbased solar company.
On the roof of the ship are installed 24 solar modules with a capacity of 5,6 kWp. They take care of the energy needs of the ship. The ship has also the distinction of first solar charging station for solar powered boats in the Kopenick district of Berlin. SolarWaterWorld AG, the manufacturer en operator of it, is working together with Solon SE. . Both companies have more than 17 years of experience in the research and developping of solar shipping. ‘We are pleased that in Solon SE we have a strong partner that is involved in the wideranging expansion of climate-friendly solar mobility’ says CEO Thomas Meyer. ‘ The future belongs to solar mobility and whether its on road, rails or water, SOLON is one of the main drivers of this development.’
The solar ship will provide accomodation for 60 passengers. It will sail on Berlin’s waterways and offer tours of the city and cruise trips. It is the most greenhouse emitting clean ship for inlands tours that will make the trip environment friendly. Though the ship is costly, Solon SE is trying to make it easy on pocket too. Anyway, it has the advantage to remain uneffected by fluctuations in future fuel price.
In 2006/2007 a prototype of this craft completed its first Atlantic crossing to New York. SolarWaterWorld now manufacturers and sells production built C-60 catamarans worldwide. Also a smaller version in the form of the Suncat23 is for sale. The possibility to sail without licence makes it appropiate to use by boat hire companies.