The renewable energy platform covers 5,500 square metres and will contain the largest installation of parabolic mirrors combined with thermal energy storage in an industrial setting in Europe. The project concentrates energy from direct sunlight into a collector tube filled with absorption liquid.
The renewable energy project contains a Concentrated Solar Thermal platform with 2,240 surface mirrors, with a solar field peak yield of 2.7 GWh thermal power, and six thermal storage modules with a capacity of 5 MWh thermal power.
The renewable energy platform, consisting of a CST field and Thermal Storage unit, covers roughly 5,540 square meters on site, and will contain the largest installation of parabolic mirrors combined with thermal energy storage in an industrial setting in Europe. In operation, the total installation will provide heat equivalent to 2.3 GWh of gas consumption, reducing the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 9 percent annually – compared to current rates. During summer months and high-sunshine periods, it will provide up to 100 percent of the factory’s heat demand.
The project is a collaboration with Azteq, an organization that builds, develops and maintains CST facilities; ENERGYNEST, a long-duration thermal energy storage (TES) provider; and local community group Campina Energie, which helped secure a portion of the project financing.
The CST platform – built by Azteq – will concentrate energy from direct sunlight into a collector tube filled with absorption liquid, like thermal oil. Additionally, thermal energy from this process will be stored in ENERGYNEST’s ThermalBattery and dispatched on demand as secure, green heat. When coupled with the six battery modules, the CST platform can produce and dispatch high-temperature thermal energy both day and night on demand. The solar field, thermal storage and heat distribution system of the Avery Dennison production facility is all connected by the Balance of Plant (BoP) by AURA GmbH & Co. KG, and used for heat shifting between the heat sources and heat sinks. The BoP has been developed in the research project #MODULUS which is partly funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
By supplying zero-carbon solar energy, the project will help provide heat to run drying ovens, which are used during the coating process of pressure-sensitive adhesive products manufactured at the site. These products are used in industries such as automotive, building and construction, medical devices and personal care.
Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgian Minister of Energy said: “The clean energy transition is the only path to a sustainable future. Investments in innovative renewable energy sources, like this project in Turnhout, will lower our carbon output and have a positive effect on climate change.”
Mariana Rodriguez, general manager, Avery Dennison Performance Tapes Europe, said: “We have big ambitions to tackle climate change and achieve net zero by 2050. To meet these goals we will look across our industrial processes and identify opportunities to implement new technologies that decarbonize and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The successful commissioning of the project in Turnhout is a big step forward in our sustainability plans.”
Christian Thiel, CEO ENERGYNEST, added: “Avery Dennison is paving the way for a more sustainable and modern industrial sector in Europe. Companies across industries are considering how to best reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and decarbonize high-emitting activities, like heat production, while continuing to provide affordable, reliable goods and services to consumers. We will help solve these issues by reducing energy costs, helping the scale-out of reliable renewable energy like CST, and decarbonizing heat production.”
Together with the local Turnhout community, Avery Dennison also plans to have sheep graze the fields and grass beyond the mirror installation. The sheep replace lawn mowers and support biodiversity on site. So-called “solar grazing” is a common practice as part of “agrivoltaics" and is used for solar and PV installations as a way for both industries to utilize the same ground. The program causes no harm to the animals.