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The Zeeland refinery goes solar
To limit the Netherlands-based Zeeland refinery’s environmental impact, we equipped it with a 28,000-panel photovoltaic solar farm for generating renewable electricity directly consumed by the site.
CAPA - Capa - TotalEnergies
DISTRIBUTED GENERATION FOR INDUSTRIAL SITES]
[Nathalie de Muynck, general manager – Zeeland refinery]
Nathalie de Muynck: The Zeeland refinery is situated in the south of Holland. With the transition that’s happening, especially in Holland, we’re being challenged by so many people, politicians and NGOs, but we saw an opportunity. It’s not common to see a solar plant in a refinery, but it will become more common as time goes by.
Nathalie de Muynck: This solar farm produces, on its peak capacity, 25% of our electricity needs.
[12 GWh/YEAR SUPPLIED TO THE SITE]
Nathalie de Muynck: Every electron produced goes into the refinery, into the motors and into the refinery’s consumers.
[Florian Servais, project manager – Total Solar]
Florian Servais: Manufacturers can have doubts about installing a solar power plant. Our familiarity with refining processes meant we understood exactly what they wanted. Another advantage we had over competitors was, we had already installed a solar power plant at La Mède. That experience helped us win the call for tenders. There were three major challenges. One, a very tight construction schedule. Two, connection to the refinery, which has very tough electricity quality requirements. And three, installing 12 MW-peak of capacity on 12 hectares.
[ENOUGH TO POWER 6,000 HOUSEHOLDS A YEAR]
Florian Servais: This meant we needed really powerful panels and a unique design to fit them all in. It helped that Total Solar speaks the same language as the refiner. We’re Total – we know refineries. Our solution was also innovative, and it used powerful SunPower panels that are well suited to the needs here. Our end-to-end solution addressed the customer’s needs. Total Solar is as agile as a start-up. We’re a small, fast-moving company, but we’re also part of Total. So we’re backed by significant financial resources. That makes us both stable and agile.
Nathalie de Muynck: What I see is a symbol: a symbol of the 21st-century refinery, where we make a link between traditional fossil-fuel refinery and new energies.