Renewables

Copper producer Aurubis installing largest solar power plant in Bulgaria for own needs

Aurubis largest solar power Bulgaria for own needs

Photo: Kiril Petkov, Minister of Economy of Bulgaria (pictured left) and Aurubis CEO Roland Harings (Aurubis)

Published

June 29, 2021

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Published:

June 29, 2021

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Aurubis hired ČEZ Group’s subsidiary CEZ ESCO to build a 10 MW solar power plant near its production site in Bulgaria, located close to Sofia. It will be the largest photovoltaic system for in-house consumption in the country.

The construction of the Aurubis-1 solar power plant was launched with a special event in the Srednogorie area. Copper producer Aurubis said the ceremony was attended by representatives of the Bulgarian government, the diplomatic corps, local authorities and business representatives.

The photovoltaic plant will have a capacity of 10 MW. The company based in Hamburg has a strategic goal of carbon-neutral production by 2050 at the latest.

PV project is located on recultivated landfill

“Aurubis-1 is an important milestone for our whole company on our way to a CO2-free future. It also shows our clear commitment to production in Bulgaria,” Chief Executive Officer Roland Harings said.

More than 20,000 photovoltaic panels will be built on a remediated and recultivated landfill of over 10 hectares.

The construction is carried out by CEZ ESCO, part of of ČEZ Group. It is set to be the largest photovoltaic plant for own needs in the corporate sector in Bulgaria.

“Aurubis’ investment in clean energy sources showcases responsibility to society and the environment. Aurubis’ operations contribute to the export potential of our country, the higher standard of living in the plant’s region, transparent rules, and orderly relations with the local businesses,” Minister of Economy of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov said.

Aurubis largest solar power plant in Bulgaria for own needs
Photo: Construction of PV plant Aurubis-1 in the region of Srednogorie (Aurubis)

Project is seen covering 2.5% of copper plant’s electricity consumption

The Aurubis-1 PV plant will optimize the smelter’s external electricity consumption by 11 GWh per year for 15 years. The generated electricity could supply 3,500 households annually or a Bulgarian town with а population of 14,000, according to the announcement.

The facility will cover 2.5% of the production site’s consumption average, with the level reaching up to 12% during the daily peak hours.

The goal for the Pirdop plant, located near Sofia, is to cover 20% of its energy needs with renewable sources in the medium term.

Compared to coal-fired power generation, it will save 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. The goal for the Pirdop plant, located near Sofia, is to cover 20% of its energy needs with renewable sources in the medium term – by 2030.

Last month Aurubis started testing hydrogen use on an industrial scale in copper anode production at the Hamburg site. Industrial waste heat from the plant provides energy for the HafenCity East district, saving 20,000 tons of CO2 every year.

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