Solar-scapes in Spain on the roof of SEAT’s factory in Martorell Spain just recently came to completion, marking the largest solar power plant in the automobile industry. SEAT began this progressive work in 2010 jointly with utility-scale solar developer Gestamp Solar, with the cost coming to an estimated €35 million ($47.55 million).
The “SEAT al Sol” installation is an 11-megawatt (MW) solar PV project. With 53,000 solar panels installed across 276,000 square meters of workshop and storage facility roofs, this vast installation appears to be a grand venture from the automobile industry.
Volkswagen, which SEAT is a part of, informs us that the 53,000 solar panels will generate approximately 15 million kWh per year, equivalent to 25% of the energy required for the annual production of the new SEAT Leon.
“SEAT is a story of success and a story of commitment,” highlighted Jorge Fernández, the Spanish Minister of the Interior, when he reminded those present that SEAT was “a pioneering, innovative and quality company.”
The project SEAT al Sol, which has been developed together with Gestamp Solar, provides clean energy on a large scale in the same place of consumption (principle of distributed generation). The environmental savings achieved is of 7,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to 8.5 times the carbon dioxide absorbed annually by the Central Park in New York.
The three phases of the project have been carried out by the installation on structures already built, a system still under development in the industrial sector, which has prevented additional occupation of the territory without affecting the manufacture production processes. In addition, the solar panels installed on the storage areas generate clean energy while protecting cars against adverse weather conditions. The works performed for the project SEAT al Sol, which began in mid-2010, have entailed a total investment of 35 million euros.
Automobile manufacturers, Apple, Google, Facebook, IKEA, Intel, and many others are most decidedly increasing their use of solar to a great degree. This grand integration of solar at one of SEAT’s main facilities in Spain offers positive punctuation of continual change, and a transitioning within big business.
Images via SEAT
Note: there’s a cool video of SEAT al Sol in the Volkswagen news release.
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