PV power plants in Portuguese industry: fashion or competitive factor?
Photovoltaic facilities serve industry as an alternative and complementary source in the production and consumption of electrical energy. Since they contribute significantly to cost reduction they are well accepted in the industrial sector.
It is not by chance that we find in Portugal more and more warehouses, factories and industrial complexes with photovoltaic panels installed: The evolution of the equipment and the significant reduction of its cost has allowed the massification of photovoltaic installations, over the last years, causing a positive impact. In the past, it was only a “green investment” that aimed to improve the industry’s image, and was especially used by multinational companies from Nordic countries, but today, a photovoltaic installation is part of an intelligent business management, focused on fundamental cost control.
The industry is inserted in a global, extremely competitive market, and to prosper it needs to invest its resources correctly: reducing its fixed costs. Looking at electric energy is not just a differentiating factor, but something essential to ensure the competitiveness of Portuguese industry. Industry’s dependence on electricity is increasing. Any modern industry or warehouse is full of machines and equipment that, despite their increased efficiency in recent years, are still large electricity consumers, and even need to be able to operate simultaneously. Thus, controlling the costs with electrical energy is extremely effective, easily causing a great impact, because it means that we are controlling one of the operating costs with the greatest weight in an industry.
Having a PV installation signifies economies
The industry has several fixed costs that, in a certain way, should be optimized and reinvested. Electricity consumption is in fact one of the largest among the rest. We all know that the more an industry can produce at a lower cost, it means, in the medium long term, that it will have a greater margin and consequently greater autonomy to reinvest and increase its production volume: which will further increase its profit and make it increasingly competitive. Given the high solar resource available in Portugal, one of the obvious measures to implement, to achieve this cost reduction, will be the adoption of a photovoltaic system sized to your needs, allowing you to self-consume the maximum amount of energy produced.
Currently, a photovoltaic system that is properly sized, according to the instantaneous consumption on site, produces energy at a substantially lower cost than the energy purchased at the same hour from the grid. Therefore, SOLVasto, through the analysis of your load profile (consumption every 15 minutes) provided by your grid operator, can design a system that will allow you a reduction between 20 and 30% of the amount of energy purchased from the public grid, depending on several factors such as location, available area, possible orientation of the photovoltaic panels, and, obviously, the type of electricity consumption profile.
Main advantages of a PV plant for the Portuguese industry
- A PV installation allows significant savings in electricity costs, typically between 20 and 30% of the overall value of your electricity bill;
- A photovoltaic system produces clean energy, without any emissions of harmful greenhouse gases (such as CO2, CH4, N2O), and is therefore “friendly” to the environment;
- Solar energy is an endogenous energy, supplied by nature, therefore free and abundant;
- Portugal is, along with Spain and Greece, one of the European countries clearly favored in number of hours of annual solar radiation and therefore with better potential for its use. In Lisbon, for example, we have an average of 2799 hours of sunshine per year, which means that a correctly sized photovoltaic solar system can obtain specific productions between 1550 and 1600 kWh/(kWp/year), i.e. 1 kWp installed, which costs around 650 euros, will produce on average 1,575 kWh/year, which if self-consumed (deducted from your invoice) corresponds to around 190 euros/year;
- The systems are installed and fixed on the roofs of buildings, and have no mechanical parts, so they have very few breaks or breakdowns, requiring less maintenance than other renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines;
- Thus, the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for a photovoltaic system are greatly reduced compared to other renewable energy systems;
- A solar photovoltaic system, correctly sized and maintained, will produce energy for more than 25 years;
- PV systems are quiet, producing no noise at all, making them perfectly suited to urban and industrial areas;
- Since they are integrated on roofs they do not cause visual impact, being well accepted by the community.