ABB opens its first CO2-neutral and energy self-sufficient plant
May 14, 2019 – ABB has opened its first CO2-neutral and energy self-sufficient production site in the world, with the commissioning of a solar power plant at a factory in Lüdenscheid, Germany.
ABB technology will generate enough power from the solar plant to cover, on sunny days, 100 per cent of the factory’s power requirements. The flagship site will save about 630 tonnes of CO2 a year.
A plant powered by photovoltaics
The "Mission to Zero" project recently opened at ABB subsidiary Busch-Jaeger after a two-year design and construction phase. The full energy cycle of the factory has been created with ABB's energy-efficient components so that the entire system can run with significantly less power. A large part of the energy that is needed to run the factory is created with a sustainable solar power plant and an energy-efficient cogeneration plant.
Measuring 3,500 square metres and installed over the car parks on the company premises, the photovoltaic system will deliver around 1,100 MWh of climate-neutral solar power a year – approximately the annual requirement of 340 private households.
In combination with a cogeneration plant, which operates with double the energy efficiency of a coal-fired power plant, around 14 per cent more energy can be generated than is needed at the site. The surplus power is fed into the public grid, contributing to the region’s power supply with sustainably produced energy. To cover peaks in demand, additional green energy is sourced from MVV Energie AG, which guarantees 100 per cent CO2-neutral production.
"With this state-of-the-art site, we demonstrate the advantages of creating a system in which all components are digitally networked and controllable," says Tarak Mehta, president of the electrification business at ABB, in a release. "This intelligent ecosystem enhances energy efficiency, sustainability and resource conservation, enabling a genuine zero emission future for industry and beyond."
Autonomous energy management
The technical centrepiece of the entire system in Lüdenscheid is the scalable energy management system OPTIMAX from the ABB Ability Energy Management Suite. ABB Ability is the company’s offering of digital solutions and services across all business areas that bring new levels of flexibility, efficiency and performance.
The OPTIMAX digital solution provides a continuous and transparent view of energy consumption. It allows real-time monitoring and optimization of energy use, as well as the integration of distributed generation and flexible consumption and storage, and operates largely autonomously. This learning system calculates the optimum energy flow on the basis of predictive data and compensates for deviations in real time, which the company says helps companies to reduce energy costs and emissions.
Aside from the energy management system and the photovoltaic system with inverters, the entire system at the factory brings together other ABB technologies that are digitally interconnected. For example, a battery energy storage system (BESS) with an output of 200 kW and a capacity of 275 kWh is responsible for energy storage.
In addition, ABB charging points, where staff and visitors can charge their electric vehicles free of charge, provide for an additional improvement in the regional eco-balance. This single-source energy management solution is rounded off by smart switchgear for energy distribution.
Over half of ABB's worldwide revenues are generated by technologies that the company says combat the causes of climate change. ABB's goal is to increase this contribution from 57 per cent in 2018 to 60 per cent by 2020. As part of that, ABB plans to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, from a 2013 baseline.
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