Archives from Months August, 2012

Overseeing the Summer Vacation Games


It all began with a large getting-to-know-you round with 22 small children on Monday morning, lead by four instructors and three SMA trainees. Before I knew it, I had already forgotten three-fourth of the children’s names and ages (there were just too many :D) by the time we had started dividing them into play/activity groups. But then came the huge heat wave…

Water Playground in the Aue:

Discovery tour at the lake.

The instructors decided to take the kids to the water playground in the Aue on Wednesday, as it had already hit 30 *C on Tuesday, which wasn’t even forecasted to be the hottest day of the week. The children’s parents were all informed and countless water guns were hauled up from basements and prepared for water war. 😀 We arrived after a somewhat stressful bus ride and just seconds after our things were safely on the ground, the water festivities were unleashed. But it didn’t stop there. I was apparently too dry compared to the other instructors and children, so I was drenched from head to toe with water. 😀 On the way home, nearly everybody was exhausted, but happy with our water- and fun-filled day. Our ’water games’ were so successful that the creek in Nieste became the scene of ’water massacre’ round two on Thursday.




The summer vacation games with our SMA kids.

In hindsight, it was a very very fun week, although at times a little taxing on the nerves, as the energy level required when working in a daycare setting with an average group size of 22 kids a day has to constantly be at 100 percent. 😀 However, it was quite interesting to get a glimpse into the life of a child care professional. This career path should definitely not be underestimated. I won’t forget this week for a very long time and already hope to be able to “assist” again next year.

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After the Lemon, You Are in Eden


A warm summer evening and its sunset. A rooftop terrace, in the distance faint guitar music with melodic singing and in front of me is an “Elderflower Lemonade” – a home-made Elderflower spritzer. I feel like I’m on vacation.
But all this is right in Kassel at Baya Central, a bar on the top floor of a parking garage, across from Capitol on Garde-du-Corps-Straße. After passing levels lemon, strawberry and plum in the parking garage (not sure of exact order but you get the idea), you take the stairs straight to the top. “There’s nothing up here,” I thought but I was pleasantly surprised. Straight ahead, a small hotel with nicely set up double rooms and to the left is the entrance to Baya Central. The walls are gray and spartan, just like the decoration. But the details in this bar are what really make it unique: the huge lounge sofa, art books on small shelves everywhere (fitting to dOCUMENTA), and letters on the wall spelling ’EDEN.’ Or for a different atmosphere, you can step out on the roof terrace, decorated with many plants, comfortable sofas and chairs.

Delicious Refreshments

The menu has an international feel as everything is in English. The menu has an international feel as everything is in English. There are exotic drinks on the menu such as a vodka with ginger beer or rhubarb or home-made Elderflower spritzers. I highly recommend any of the drinks however, on the other hand the breakfast plate which is served all day, is a little disappointing. The prices are reasonable and the view definitely makes them worthwhile.

The nice part about this bar is that the DJ and singer provide live entertainment without preventing you from having a conversation. In fact, the quiet “background music” turns your stay at Baya Central into a mini vacation. The sun sets, it gets a bit cool and I make my way home. As I returned to the lemon level I thought to myself, “I enjoyed a little piece of Eden today, right here in Kassel.”

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Between Vegetable Skewers, Works of Art and Stage Shows: SMA Summer Festival


Friday, 3:45 p.m., it’s time to go! Quickly, I turned off the computer, grabbed the sunglasses and headed off to the SMA summer festival. I didn’t want to miss the executive speeches, after all.

Some 2,900 SMA employees took part in the company festival under the solar roof on Sonnenallee. We are usually dispersed throughout Niestetal and Kassel at our various locations. It is not unusual for a week or more to go by without running into some colleagues, which makes relaxed events like this one, where we can reconnect with one another to exchange news and stories, even nicer.


SMA Band BlueSMAchine

This made it a very enjoyable evening, in which I moved from conversation to conversation. Many colleagues jumped on the shuttle bus provided to visit SMA’s two new buildings. Some colleagues reported back about SMA’s new Service center, which opened this past April in Sandershauser Berg, Niestetal, while others on SMA’s strategy in the logistics center in Fuldabrück.

In addition to the enjoyable conversations, there were also many interesting parts in the program and lots of delicious food. I was personally very impressed with the “veggie stand.” Even as a proclaimed meat eater I enjoyed a few grilled vegetable skewers.

SMA Bands and art work

However, the smell of the grill wasn’t the only thing in the air there was also the feeling of dOCUMENTA. SMA employees have let their energy and creativity run wild over the past months. I visited an exhibition in Sonnenallee of art work created by SMA coworkers, all of which would be auctioned to help fund the SMA Christmas Donation. From mobiles made of things nobody needs anymore, to prehistoric coins or abstract paintings, the multitude of inventive art pieces are sure to make the 2012 donation bigger than ever.


Colleques at the SMA Summer Festival.

Naturally, the SMA bands provided exceptional musical entertainment at the event. SMAcapella passed the mic to BlueSMAshine, who heated up the already warm summer air. When the SMAshers took the stage their fan club rocked out on their own inflatable guitars in the audience Then, an hour later, as the musicians from “Make Your Statement” took the stage, I decided to ditch my high-heels and we all danced well into the night at the SMA Disco.

My conclusion: This was a highly-successful event that showcased the fabulous work our colleagues in the ’Trade Fairs & Events’ department do. Everything was perfect.

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d13 Tour: Ecological Aspects of dOCUMENTA

and and and garden project

Lore Klipp offers tips for a 45-minute tour related to ecology in this article. The tour starts in the Garden of the Ottoneum Museum. Our employee is a “Worldly Companion” at dOCUMENTA (13). These trained visitor guides number more than 130 and are mostly from Kassel. They will accompany visitors around dOCUMENTA, sharing their background knowledge and expertise.

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My Start as an FOS-Intern


“You guys are so quiet. It’s alright to talk to one another,” said Lisa Lange, a trainer for the FOS-internship program, as she laughed. It was true. At the beginning, none of us said anything to each other, but instead just sat there and looked around. That all changed quickly with a getting-to-know-you game. The mood became more and more relaxed as we warmed up. Then we were divided into groups where we were really able to show our creativity and team spirit. We even came up with our own, personal SMA corporate motto for the 1-year internship program. One trainee also arranged a walk-through of Solar Factory 1 for us which included a lot of important information. Through our group lunches we got to know each other even better.

Day Three of the Internship

First briefing at the PC for the trainee.

Of course, the interns are not just here to have fun. Our little group was broken up on day three. The technical interns tried their hand at soldering while the commercial interns took part in an introductory course in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Lead by Lisa Lange and a trainee, Benjamin Merz, we were lead to our respective departments and greeted warmly by our new supervisors. All told, the three orientation days were very well organized and prepared us well for the coming months here at SMA.
From all the 13 FOS interns, I would like to thank those who lead our introductory days and wish everyone a lot of fun and success!

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Introduction Week in Vogelsberg


On Tuesday morning around 8:00, we started off towards Herbstein in the Vogelsberg area. We were all a bit tired on the trip, but at the same time, excited about what was to come.

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SMA Helps Brings Light to Haiti


This past June, Bates Marshall, director of strategy and business development for SMA America, led a group of SMA employees on a charity mission to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. SMA took the trip alongside representatives from NRG Energy, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the Solar Electric Light Foundation (SELF). 

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Application Tip Number 1: The Cover Letter

For most applicants, the cover letter is really the hardest part of applying. It gives you the opportunity to mention things that cannot be found on your resume or in any of your qualifications. This is where you can describe what sets you apart from other applicants. After all, there is a certain degree of self-promoting involved in applying. Find out what’s important to the company in advance (from their homepage, for example) and emphasize your strengths in your cover letter accordingly.

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Pierre-Pascal Urbon gives Outlook for the Second Half of the Year 2012

In the light of the publication of the Half-Yearly Financial Report January to June 2012, we asked Pierre-Pascal Urbon, Speaker of the SMA Managing Board and Chief Financial Officer, what he expects for the year 2012. Here you will find his answers on the prospects for the photovoltaic markets, SMA’s strategy and further business development.

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Pierre-Pascal Urbon Comments on Half-Yearly Financial Report January to June 2012

In the light of the publication of the Half-Yearly Financial Report January to June 2012, Pierre-Pascal Urbon, Speaker of the Managing Board and Chief Financial Officer, presents the backgrounds of the business development for the year 2012.

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Smart Home with Solar Electricity

Sunny Boy Smart Energy

It is an unprecedented success story – in only a few short years renewable energy sources have become an affordable and reliable source of clean electricity. According to preliminary numbers from the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, in the record month of May, for the first time Germany’s PV plants produced more than four billion kilowatt hours of CO2-neutral electricity.  This almost equals the annual consumption of 900,000 average German households and represents an increase of approximately 40 percent over May of the previous year. In the context of sinking feed-in compensation and the discussion about grid relief and self-consumption the question becomes: How can we best use this electricity?

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Football with Colleagues: The Game Returns to Poland


After a visit from our dtw-colleagues to Niestetal, an SMA delegation was to travel to Poland. Loaded into two small buses, football shoes packed, 12 SMA employees and I made the 830 km journey to Zabierzów, home of dtw.

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