Leca Portugal SA invests in green energy
Leca Portugal SA is creating a solar park to produce electricity for its Avelar factory in Leiria. The project, which aims to reduce their expanded clay factory's electricity consumption from the grid, as well as its carbon footprint, is predicted to start operation in August this year. Bernardo Mendonça, Regional Industrial Manager at Leca International is the Project Management of this project.
A total of 2222 photovoltaic modules will be installed in around 1 ha of the factory's own grounds. Simulations indicate that the park could potentially produce 1579 MWh of electricity per year, covering a quarter of the production line's annual needs. The energy produced will be almost entirely used by the Avelar plant. Any excess energy, which we estimate will be around 3.5% of all produced, will be fed back into the grid.
Reducing electricity consumption and optimising production
Apart from reducing the factory's energy bill by consuming less energy from the grid, the initiative also enables the optimization of the production line, which is one of internal proposals of the Organization.
At the moment, the internal management is declaring to use some sections of the factory during peak electricity times, if possible, because they involve high energy-consuming machines. This means that some sections are idle for most of the morning, and operational work tends to start at night. This project will enable to revert the situation because we will have significantly lowered energy prices during these times. So, the benefits are not only economical because it's much safer to work during the day, she concludes.
Avoiding 1105 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year
The project is also crucial from an environmental and sustainability perspective. It also brings benefits that go beyond harnessing cheaper energy; the project helps the company to reduce the fossil fuel energy consumption and enables the use of energy that they produced internally.
We can forget that their ability to access this solar energy will also take the pressure off the grid, benefitting the entire region. It will also reduce losses incurred during energy transportation and, in particular, help to reduce the factory’s carbon dioxide emissions by around 1105 tonnes. A goal that aligns with the commitment made by Saint-Gobain, Leca’s parent company, to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2025 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
Leca Portugal, SA has invested a total of 600 thousand euros in the solar park. Leca Portugal SA is also joined by Reenergy and Bluemint, who are also collaborating on this project with development and financing, respectively. Follow up this project with us!