ABB has unveiled its first CO2-neutral and energy self-sufficient factory in the world.
The facility in Germany will run on a solar photovoltaic system backed by a battery storage system, and any surplus power will be fed back into the grid. It also has EV charging points for staff and visitors.
The factory in Luedenscheid is run by ABB-subsidiary Busch-Jaeger, which manufactures smart energy solutions for homes and buildings, and the solar installation is expected to save about 630 tonnes of CO2 a year.
During peak demand when extra electricity is needed, the factory will source power from German energy supplier MVV Energie, which has guaranteed 100 per cent green energy. Last month, ABB and MVV together launched a service to help industrial and energy companies improve their energy efficiency, cut carbon emissions and lower costs.
The new factory was designed and built over two years. The solar PV system covers 3500 square metres and is built over the factory’s car parks. ABB says the system will generate around 1100MWh of power a year.
“The photovoltaic system is part of an integrated solution that covers all aspects of energy production and distribution, making it possible to generate enough power to cover on sunny days 100 percent of its power requirements,” said Tarak Mehta, president of the Electrification business at ABB.
Energy at the factory is controlled by ABB’s management system OPTIMAX, which provides constant surveillance and control of production, consumption and storage and operates largely autonomous.
ABB said the system calculates the optimum energy flow on the basis of predictive data and compensates for deviations in real time.
Mehta said: “With this state-of-the-art site, we demonstrate the advantages of creating a system in which all components are digitally networked and controllable. This intelligent ecosystem enhances energy efficiency, sustainability and resource conservation, enabling a genuine zero emission future for industry and beyond.”