Campus - 08.11.2023 - 10:15 

New solar system on HSG sports hall becomes reality thanks to the commitment of HSG members

In November, a new solar system will be completed on the HSG campus. The system was realised thanks to the joint commitment of HSG members.

The latest solar installation on the HSG campus will go into operation in mid-November: it is located on the roof of the HSG sports hall. The system will produce around 200,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year - enough to cover the annual consumption of 40-50 average Swiss households. 

The solar plant is financed by many small investors: The sale of around 500 solar panels was open to private individuals and companies from June 2023. "Around a third of the panels were purchased by people or companies with a connection to the HSG or based in the St.Gallen region," says Ursina Dorer, Marketing Manager of the solar start-up Solarify. This connects rooftop owners with small investors. "It's great that the project has such broad support from private individuals and companies. They and the HSG are thus making a valuable contribution to the supply of renewable energy," says St.Gallen Cantonal Councillor Susanne Hartmann, Head of the Cantonal Building Department.

Students drove construction forward over three years

Solarify managed the planning and construction of the latest HSG solar plant - in close collaboration with HSG students: Various young men and women taking the Master's Certificate in Managing Climate Solutions (MaCS) at the HSG worked for around three years on the construction of the solar plant. Initial technical and legal clarifications were made in 2021. A crowdfunding campaign then raised around 25,000 Swiss francs in summer 2022, but this was not enough for the construction. In spring 2023, MaCS students supported a project that relied on crowdinvesting for financing. With a marketing concept, they ensured that as many HSG alumni, students and employees as possible were reached - with success: the last panel was sold on 20 October.  

"Every individual can make a contribution to the energy turnaround"

Rolf Wüstenhagen is HSG Professor of Renewable Energy Management and founder of the MaCS certificate. He closely supervised the students in their work for the plant. "I'm delighted to see that the project is now becoming a reality and that the students' commitment has been crowned with success," he says. The joint financing through contributions from over 100 people from the HSG community and the population in the region has decisively accelerated the realisation of the facility. "A great example of how each individual can make a contribution to climate protection and reducing dependence on energy imports from abroad," says Wüstenhagen. In addition to him, Markus Steiner, Head of Construction + Technology, and Luzia Engler Wirth, Head of Legal Services, also supported the students

HSG students Simona Weber, Ines Morales, Weiqi Liu, Nadja Koster and Jonathan Meyer promoted the sale of the panels in the region and at the HSG in spring 2023. "It fills me with great joy to see how our solar project has been successfully financed," says Simona Weber. The construction of the plant is "an important step towards a more sustainable future and it makes a direct contribution to HSG's net-zero target". 

She is confident that the solar installation on the HSG sports hall will not only generate renewable energy locally, but can also serve as an inspiring example for other sustainability projects, "at HSG and beyond", says Weber.

Other solar systems on the HSG campus are located on the library building, on the temporary building 23 and on the SQUARE. The construction of a system on the HSG's Holzweid Continuing Education Centre is also planned for 2024.

Discover our special topics