New solar panels powered by the Lisbon sun

The Alkion terminal in Lisbon (ATL) has become the second Alkion terminal to install solar panels, following the installation of solar panels at Vado Ligure in Italy in 2018.

Following careful study and installation, the new solar panels at ATL became operational in December 2021. The good news is that they are already delivering on projections to reduce terminals carbon footprint by 346 tonnes of CO2 each year. In doing so they are increasing the sustainability value to our operations and the supply chain by producing renewable energy that reduces our dependence on fossil fuels sources, and thus our environmental footprint. As Telma Branco, ATL SHEQ Manager, says:

“The solar panels project demonstrates the Alkion commitment to the environment and our clients, because when we improve so do they.”

In addition, self-generation of electricity reduces the exposure towards fluctuating market prices and uncertainty on the availability of green-electricity supply on the market.

Suitable locations for solar installations

The project was first suggested in 2019 by the local terminal team and work began on a Technical study. This involved identifying the most suitable locations, a major factor being the need to find places with fewer shadows and the most exposure to the sunlight. Simulation software then determined the optimum orientation of the solar panels, the number of panels needed, and the estimated production of energy. Field work began in April 2021 and moved quickly, with the panels becoming operational on 15 December 2021.

Estimated solar panels capacity

The installed capacity of the new panels is 501 kWp (kilowatt peak power). This consists of 1114 modules, with each panel capable of generating 450 Wp of power. This delivers an estimated annual energy production of 736 MWh. The project is designed to ensure that approximately 52.8% of ATL’s energy needs comes from self-generated solar energy, reducing by 40.7% (388 MWh) the amount of grey energy bought from the grid. The final performance against the technical assumptions will be evaluated at the end of 2022 after a full year of operation.

Estimated impact from solar panels in a working day

Results first 5 months (January to May 2022)

Great results from the first 5 months

From the beginning of January through to the end of May 2022 the solar installations demonstrated strong performance. The panels produced 334 MWh, with 165 MWh used for the terminal’s own operations (49%) and 169 MWh routed to the grid (51%).

Total electricity consumed at ATL over the 5 months was 455 MWh. Thus, with the 165 MWh consumed from solar production, an average of 36% of the total electricity consumption was self-generated by solar. 290 MWh (64%) was still bought from the electricity grid. It should be noted that the share of consumption from solar self-generated electricity versus electricity bought from the grid varies across the months, being 27% in January and 48% in May. The percentage is projected to increase during the summer months.

These figures show that the solar panels at ATL are already delivering the expected levels of energy production. This has led to a reduction in electricity costs of 63% from January to May 2022 relative to the same period in 2021. ATL is selling to the grid any surplus energy generated by the panels, generating additional revenue.

Following the success of solar at Lisbon and Vado Ligure, other Alkion terminals are enthusiastically exploring the possibility of installing solar panels and more solar panels will become operational in 2022.

Which terminal will be the third one to install solar panels?

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