VELUX Commissions BayWa r.e. to Build Two Solar Parks

Source: 11/15/2022, Location: Europe

- VELUX Group and BayWa r.e. announce a ground breaking dual-site deal to power the world-leading roof window manufacturer's European operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2024.
- The Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) will drive the development of two new solar parks in southern Spain, one close to Seville and the other near Granada. The latter, called Alhendín solar park, includes BayWa r.e.’s first installation of innovative Agri-PV technology in Spain, which will allow for crops growing in-between the solar panels.

Bringing more renewable energy online
When connected to the grid in 2023 and 2024, the two plants will generate 167 GWh of renewable electricity every year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of approximately 45,000 European homes. 80% of the electricity generated by the plants will be supplied to VELUX, with the remaining share to be added to the grid. The new PPAs will reduce the carbon footprint of VELUX with approximately 40,000 tons CO2 equivalent from European activities alone on a yearly basis.

Commenting on the project, Lars Petersson, CEO of the VELUX Group, said: “VELUX has always been about bringing daylight into people’s lives, and now we are very excited to apply the use of daylight, or more specifically solar power, to decarbonise our operations with renewable energy in the coming years. In our company, we have committed ourselves to fight the climate crisis and show sustainable leadership. And with this agreement, we are well on our way to achieving our aim for a 100% reduction of our emissions from operations by 2030.”

Pioneering solar plant symbiosis
About 10% of the Alhendín solar park will be an Agri-PV installation, a new solar application that combines food production and energy generation, of which BayWa r.e. is a pioneer and leader. This installation will be specially designed with taller rows of panels, more widely spaced to allow farming to continue and modern agricultural machinery to pass between the panel rows, in this case to produce crops. The PV modules will also be used to collect rainwater, which will help the farmer manage the continuing risks posed by climate change and droughts in a very dry area, bringing the water-energy-food nexus to life.

This PPA is pioneering the concept of solar plant symbiosis, integrating solar power production with nature and community for mutual benefit. The development of both solar plants will include a comprehensive plan and suite of community and environmental measures that will enhance local biodiversity and foster community involvement.

To ensure that the parks will always prioritise their local environment and communities, BayWa r.e. will be partnering with nearby universities – namely Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad de Córdoba – to form an interdisciplinary research group whose findings will ultimately inform a comprehensive and bespoke site strategy.

“This project is so exciting because it perfectly embodies the synergies between new solar generation, Agri-PV, community partnerships and biodiversity. It also underlines our deep commitment to sustainability initiatives,” commented Matthias Taft, BayWa r.e.’s CEO. “Leading companies, such as the VELUX Group, play a crucial role in the fight against climate change and can be a game-changer in unlocking more sustainable pathways and solutions. Advancing the corporate energy transition is a huge focus for us, so it’s a major milestone for BayWa r.e. to help the VELUX Group achieve its renewable electricity targets with these PPAs.”

Helping to deliver on VELUX Group’s historic carbon capture commitment
Once connected to the grid, the new solar farms will enable VELUX to achieve its 2030 target to reduce emissions from its own operations and activities by 100%. This target is part of the company’s 2030 sustainability strategy commitment to pioneer climate and nature action. The commitment also includes targets to capture its historical carbon footprint since its founding in 1941 and up to 2041 through forest conservation projects with World Wide Fund for Nature and halving its value chain emissions by 2030.

Schneider Electric, the leading advisor on global corporate renewable energy procurement, supported VELUX in the selection of the projects and their negotiations.

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