Greenbuddies Tips – October 2021

Sources:  Shutterstock

Solar Parks on Roofs of Large Retail Chains

Solar energy undoubtedly has many economic benefits, which is one of the main reasons why it is used by companies –   an initial investment in solar modules could cover the partial or even the complete costs of electricity consumed by the establishment. Aside from economic reasons however, the use of solar plants can also support the philosophy of green-minded societies. It is obvious that the realization of an ecological ideal in in terms of the way in which society functions cannot be achieved merely through renewable energy sources. Yet it is a key ingredient of a much wider shift in our philosophy, other partial steps include reducing energy costs, recycling waste, adequate electronic equipment, etc. Investing in renewable energy sources is a large step that that can primarily be implemented by large companies. For example, retail chains such as Lidl, Tesco, Aldi, Carrefour and Kaufland have made big investments in solar energy across recent years, placed on roofs of the company’s shopping centers and warehouses. The energy produced by these solar farms brings with it many advantages [1]: 

       – It can handle peak loads.
– Minimizes energy costs (especially energy for cooling systems).
– Optimizes their own energy consumption.
– Continuation of supply during a power outage.
– Possibility to sell surplus energy to the grid (passive profit generation).
– Contributes to transition of society to green energy.
– Possibility to offer free charging stations for electric cars for customers (benefit).
– Ecological footprint can be used as brand support.

Image of the possibilities of using solar energy by large retail chains

As mentioned above, many retail chains are considering investments in solar energy in their short-term plans. For example, Tesco aims to generate 10 % of its energy consumption in the UK by2030 and has installed solar panels covering a total of 187 335 m2 across various locations as part of its large green energy project. Aldi has installed solar panels in more than 240 UK stores. Lidl in the UK has announced that all new outlets will install solar panels as part of a new carbon neutrality commitment till 2022 [2, 3, 4].

In the month of October, Greenbuddies is working on the DC aspects of a project that is located on the roof of a big retail chain building in Almere, the northern part of the Netherlands. The construction of the first phase of the project by our team will take approximately 1 month – this includes the installation of panels on approximately a quarter of the roof. The construction of a total of 1.2 MWp will be carried out on an area of approximately 8 400 m2. 2686 panels and 6 inverters will be installed.

We believe in a bright future of further cooperation with the client on the development of the remaining areas of the roof.



Truck Ports

As the demand for electricity grows, so does the need for its production. Nowadays trends are showing us that Photovoltaics modules may be a great solution for the future, but…

There is a wide range of commercial and residential buildings where it is possible to place modules,but is it enough? Aside from roof mounted projects, much focus in the sector points towards placing photovoltaic modules on free fields, a concept that is often viewed in a controversial light. Aside from roof and ground mounted projects there exists another solution that does not require the covering of roofs or fertile soil. This solution is called a carport. This construction is most frequently made out ofwood or steel, and transforms a normal parking area into something close to a covered garage (that produces its own energy!). Where could be this solution used? Almost everywhere – Hotel parking areas, wellness parking areas, sport club parking areas and a lot more! On the rooftop of this Carport there are photovoltaic modules that produces green electricity. The carport solution to the question pertaining to where solar modules ought to be placed is a convincing one, largely as a result of its clear and functional double land usage.

Recently this trend was enriched by a Truckport solution. The construction made out of steel is strong enough to be as high as necessary to cover large trucks- which are much higher than an average car. A truckport can be made for truck cabins independent from the trailers, but can be put to use for storing unused trailers as well. Electromobility moves forward into greener futures at increasing rates, and it will not take a lot of time to see plenty of E-trucks in traffic. Current legislation in almost all EU countries is reducing the maximum hours of driving per day for each truck. This will be a perfect opportunity for Truck drivers to park under a truckport and charge their truck with electricity made „above them“ in photovoltaic modules.

Greenbuddies’ ambitious Benelux projects in collaboration with SENS – STEAG Solar Energy Solutions 

A future-oriented outlook on the sector backed up by innovative project concepts is what drives us at Greenbuddies the most. It is for this reason that we, aside from our construction branch, have begun to focus on entire development phases of projects across the EU – both in terms of large-scale solar and EV charging. A great number of preparatory steps needed to be taken before the actual startup of development, in the beginning of 2020 – at the dawn of the Covid 19 pandemic –   Greenbuddies started initial activities aimed towards developing a portfolio of PV parks in the Netherlands.

Jos Schlangen, a seasoned professional in PV, came on board to head the newly established Greenbuddies Energy BV. After discussions with several investors, we have been pleased to announce that we started our cooperation with SENS / STEAG. The reason behind this particular choice of cooperation was self explanatory – we have long known the German company (formerly known as Gildemeister) as flexible, creative, and adhering to the same values of fairness, transparency, and ethics across all business practices.  

“Now, after having several months of cooperation behind us we can say that it was really a supreme choice” says Aleš Spáčil, Chief Sales Buddy of Greenbuddies.  

Our future joint portfolio will be comprised of free-fields, rooftops, and floating solar across all three countries within the Benelux. We are eagerly anticipating the young team of developers’ ambition of completing a development portfolio spanning a minimum of 250 MW, representing a large influx of work for many of our construction crews in the periods following the actual commencement of building activities on individual projects.