The largest solar power plant in Estonia built on the roof of an industrial building is ready – on the roof of the Saku Brewery

Estonia’s largest solar power plant, built on the roof of an industrial building, is located on the roof of the Saku Brewery. The solar power plant with a direct line on the roof of the plant was built by the energy company Alexela, which, during the period of the contract, that is, for 20 years, will bear all the risks associated with the electricity market. At the end of the contract, Saku Brewery will become the owner of the solar panel park.

This is Alexela’s innovative business model, which for the client means reducing electricity costs and reducing the carbon footprint, while the client himself does not invest his own money either in the design of the power plant or in the technology. “Saku Brewery is our first such large-scale cooperation project in which we use an innovative approach. Instead of the client, we invest in the construction of a solar power plant, from design to commissioning, and sell him electricity below the market price throughout the entire period of the contract,” said Aivo Adamson, CEO of AS Alexela.

The choice of such a solution in order to reduce the company’s electricity costs and reduce the ecological footprint, according to Adamson, is very reasonable and economical. “Alexela can be compared to a department store that sells energy: upon entering it, the customer can choose from a large number of services and products. Our unique portfolio has been replenished with a new product in the form of a convenient construction of solar power plants – the client does not have to invest in equipment, we do it for him, and at the same time, during the entire period of the contract, the client pays us a price below the market. From the customer’s point of view, it’s a win-win to make renewable solar power work for you without investing anything, and thus reduce your environmental footprint and your electricity and network service bills.

Saving 17,000 euros per year

The solar power plant installed on the roof of the Saku Brewery by Alexela is Estonia’s largest fleet of solar panels installed on the roof of an industrial building, covering an area of ​​16,200 square meters. The park’s capacity is 1.4 MW and the capacity of 1.1 GWh per year will cover one third of the plant’s electricity needs during periods of full capacity operation, that is, during the high beer consumption season. In total, over 3,500 panels have been installed on the roof.

“The construction of solar panels parks is of great importance for Saku Brewery – it is part of our journey to reduce our ecological footprint. Environmental care and responsible business are very important to us and are part of our daily work. We invest a lot of resources in reducing our own impact on the environment. But what to hide, the war in Ukraine has led to the fact that the use of renewable energy has become relevant from a different point of view. Like many other companies, we are increasingly thinking about so-called energy independence, that is, how to produce as much of the energy we need ourselves as possible,” said Jaan Härms, board member of Saku Õlletehase AS.

On a clear summer day, Saku Brewery’s solar panel park produces 9 MW of electricity per day, and on a not-so-sunny summer day, 4 MW of electricity. According to a board member of Saku Õlletehase AS, the park being built will start to benefit immediately. Estimated savings will be 17,000 euros per year. “The savings on our day-to-day costs for electricity and network services will be up to 17%, which in turn will cover a significant part of our annual electricity needs. Figuratively speaking, with the help of only the energy produced by the solar panel park, we will be able to produce all Saku Õlletehas drinks that are produced in bottles and barrels, that is, bottled and draft drinks,” explained Jaan Härms.

In pursuit of its sustainable development goals, united by the widely used abbreviation ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance, that is, Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance), Saku Brewery proceeds from the Together Towards Zero (TTZ) strategy established in 2017, uniting the entire concern . The strategy has four main goals, including a plan to achieve zero carbon emissions from production by 2030.

The goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is also pursued by Alexela, which is developing a circular economy, investing in energy security and initiating projects that reduce its carbon footprint. Alexela is an Estonian environmental innovator, active mainly in the energy sector, developing a sustainable network of filling stations through the creation of refueling options for biomethane, LNG, electricity and, in the near future, hydrogen. As an energy department store, the company uniquely sells electricity, natural gas, as well as gas in bottles and containers, and offers automotive fuel, including sustainable fuel, at its more than one hundred filling stations across Estonia. In addition, the company has 39 small shops. Alexela is also developing the Energiasalve hydroaccumulator in Paldiski, which makes it possible to store solar and wind energy for those hours and days when there is not enough green energy.

Start generating electricity!

Alexela invites both large and small electricity producers to join. Electricity generation saves business or household costs and significantly reduces their environmental footprint. Various small renewable energy solutions are suitable for Estonian conditions, such as solar panels, wind turbines, biomass cogeneration plants and hydroelectric power plants.

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