Posted By Paul Tate, November 06, 2012 at 7:33 AM, in Category: Sustainability
French auto group Renault will inaugurate over 400,000 square meters of solar panels later this week at six of its French production sites in what the company says is the largest solar energy project in the global auto industry.
Forty hectares of photovoltaic roof panels are now installed and operational across six French production sites in Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly, Sandouville and Cléon. These include covered areas such as delivery and shipping centers and employee parking.
Together, the new system can generate 59 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a town of 15,000 people for a year and significantly reduce production energy costs, hopes Renault. The solar option is also expected to slash Renault’s CO2 emissions by 200 tonnes a year, the equivalent of a year’s driving by a fleet of 1,500 cars, or 550 round the world trips in one vehicle.
The new solar roof project is part of Renault's plan to reduce its carbon footprint 10 percent by next year, and a further 10 percent by 2016.
Renault now plans to roll out similar solar energy systems across its global production network. Initially this will include 100,000 square meters of panels at its Spanish plants in Valladolid and Palencia, and 300,000 square meters at its site in Busan, South Korea. Feasibility studies are also underway at its sites in Slovenia, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Romania.
How do you plan to power your factories of the future?
What types of alternative energy sources are you now considering or installing to better manage your manufacturing energy costs and risks?
Written by Paul Tate
Paul Tate is Research Director and Executive Editor with Frost & Sullivan's Manufacturing Leadership Council. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Council's Board of Governors, the Council's annual Critical Issues Agenda, and the Manufacturing Leadership Research Panel. Follow us on Twitter: @MfgExecutive