Solar Powers Spanish Cheese Factory

German-based Conergy has installed a 200 kW solar plant on 16,145 square feet of roof space of the cheese factory Baltasar Moralejo e Hijos at the sheep farm Finca Pago Los Vivales in Spain.

Some 800 Conergy P-series modules will be producing around 300,000 kWh of electricity each year on top of the factory buildings, supplying roughly 55 percent of the cheese producer’s electricity consumption for the manufacture of its raw milk and hard cheese products.

In related news, Conergy installed a 1.2 MW solar carport at Spain’s University of Almería. The students and teaching staff will be able to park their cars in the shade, and at the same time, the power plant will produce solar power directly on the campus. The 4,950 Conergy P-series modules on the university car park will generate 1.75 million kWh per year, corresponding to 25 percent of the university’s electricity requirements.

Universidad de Almería has a research center 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 be able to experience solar power first hand, in the laboratories and testing facilities as well as in reality.

Elsamex, an energy service company, invested more than $3.3 million in the carport and will be the operator of the power plant.

Solar is an attractive option in sunny Spain. In December, General Mills announced it was renting out the roof of its San Adrian plant in northern Spain for the installation of nearly 4,500 solar panels. The solar installation generates about 1.5 million kWh annually, which goes into the network of the Spanish utility Iberdrola.

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