Thanks to the new 1.2 megawatt Conergy power plant, which the system supplier realised in collaboration with its long-time partner Compañía Regional de Energía Solar (CRES) and Elsamex, an energy service company as investor and operator of the plant. The students and teaching staff of the University of Almería will be benefiting in two ways: The new carport facility will allow them to park their cars in the shade in the future. At the same time, the power plant will produce clean solar power directly on the La Cañada campus after grid connection on 30 January.
The around 4,950 Conergy P-series modules on the 15,000 square metre university car park will be generating 1.75 million kilowatt hours in the future that corresponds to 25% of the universitys electricity requirements or the annual consumption of 137,000 laptops operating eight hours a day. With this project, the Universidad de Almería is continuing to pursue its educational mission in the area of sustainability in conjunction with science.
With CIESOL (Centro de Investigación para la Energia Solar), the university already has a research centre for solar energy on its campus in collaboration with the public institute for energy, environmental protection and technology, CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas). With the new solar power plant, the students will now be able to experience solar power first hand, in the laboratories and testing facilities as well as in reality.
This carport plant is probably the largest green power project at any Spanish university. It shows that the energy transition has also reached the education and institutional sectors and that sustainability is gaining increasingly in importance particularly now that solar power is already more cost-effective than electricity from the grid in many cases, said Luis Jiménez Gutierrez, Managing Director of Conergy Spain. The carport combines ecology, design, efficiency and practical benefit: With around 320 sunny days a year, the sun will elicit outstanding performance from the modules and at the same time the plant will be providing welcome shade in temperatures that can go up to 37 °C in the summer.
Carport plants are increasingly gaining in importance for the supply of energy in modern cities not least because of their multiple benefits. The project on the university campus is pointing the way for further urban construction projects, such as car parks next to supermarkets, public buildings or office complexes, said Emilio Ballester Fernández, Managing Director of CRES. With our team and the technical knowhow and high-quality components of our partner Conergy, we are able to make increased use of such urban spaces in the future and create environmental benefits at the same time without requiring additional space.
Elsamex invested more than 2.5 million euro in the carport project and will be operator of the power plant in the future. High Quality, efficiency and reliability are key requirements for all of our investments. Therefore, we are only cooperating with the best companies in this sector, says Juan Manuel González Alonso, Maintenance and Energy Services Manager of Elsamex a company of the Indian Group IL&FS. The technical standards and the high quality of the components provided by both of our partners, CRES and Conergy, made our choice easy and will make our investment secure.