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    Solar power makes Krones shine

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    Sustainability-boosting initiatives play a key role in the Krones Group’s strategy, not only in the short term but also in the long run, which is exactly what “sustainable” stands for. The new solar arrays installed at four of its facilities have taken Krones to the next level here, true to the motto of “sustainable and self-sufficient”.

     Renewable energy – round the clock

    The Krones West Africa Center in Lagos, Nigeria, went first: Back in December 2022, solar panels and inverters were integrated in its power supply system to cover all of the facility’s demand using renewable energy produced in-house. That solar power is also fed to generators serving as back-up with a storage capacity of 830 kilowatts.

    The new 24-hour solar energy source supplies Krones West Africa’s entire office building, plus the workshop and glue production shop. So the center needs power from the public grid and/or the generator only in emergencies. The solar array on the building’s roof measures an impressive 2,746 square metres and boasts an output of 542 kilowatt-peak. In favourable weather conditions, the office enjoys round-the-clock energy self-sufficiency. The 24-hour green-energy supply system reduces CO2 emissions by 2,285 tons over its entire useful lifetime.

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    The new solar array covers a total of 2,746 square metres of the roof’s surface.

     Sustainability translated into everyday reality

    Krones Inc., the group’s US facility in Franklin, Wisconsin, likewise boasts a sparkling new solar park. It consists of several ground-mounted panels intended to generate more than 500,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year over the next three decades or so, which is equivalent to a reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 255 tons.

    And what’s even better is that these figures can also be viewed in real time on a monitor that has been installed in a prominent spot in the facility’s lobby specifically for this purpose. It provides maximised transparency by displaying information on the solar park’s current output and the solar cells’ efficiency. That enables both team members and visitors to directly view the progress made locally towards preserving our natural environment.

     O sole mio: 3,000 square metres for green power

    The sun likewise shines on the premises of Krones’ subsidiary Kosme in the Italian town of Roverbella for more than 3,000 hours per year: ideal conditions for operating a photovoltaic array. Kosme started by conducting a feasibility study in the first six months of 2023, mapping out the framework conditions, and then awarded the turnkey contract for the project in September. After that, things have advanced in leaps and bounds.

    First of all, the buildings selected had to be given new roofs, as Kosme’s energy manager Giovanna Caruso explains: “Our photovoltaic system is intended to supply us with power over at least 20 to 25 years. So it was important to equip our buildings for the same durability and longevity.” That was followed by the installation of 850 solar panels on 3,000 square metres.

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    The photovoltaic array consists of 850 solar panels and has an output of 360 kilowatt-peak.

    Construction work was completed before the end of last year. The solar array’s output comes to 360 kilowatt-peak, which means it can produce half the electricity consumed at the facility. Another important part of the project was to establish a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, thus paving the way for changing the vehicle fleet over to e-mobility step by step. It is already possible for the first electric car to be charged with green power generated in-house.

    And who knows? Perhaps Kosme will switch its operations entirely to energy self-sufficiency, just like Krones West Africa. “We’ve got more than enough space on our roofs,” says Giovanna Caruso, laughing.

     The group’s first net-zero building

    In early March of this year, Krones opened a new office building in Johannesburg, South Africa, which is the group’s first building worldwide to have been awarded net-zero certification. Planning for this building focussed on structural glazing, not only to create a friendly working atmosphere but also to save energy on lighting. But one of the net-zero building’s most important components cannot be seen from the ground: 560 solar panels supply it with 300 kilowatts of renewable energy.

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    The new building in South Africa is the Krones Group’s first net-zero building, thanks not least to the solar panels installed on its roof.

    Right in line with Krones’ sustainability strategy, the recently commissioned solar arrays will reduce CO2 emissions while simultaneously increasing the proportion of regenerative energy sources across the group. So they benefit not only our corporate carbon footprint, but our natural environment as well, thus constituting a genuine win-win situation for everyone involved.


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