Slovenian glassmaker Steklarna Hrastnik has installed the first B2B solar power plant in Slovenia, set up by GEN-I and Razvojni center Novi materiali (RCeNeM). Steklarna Hrastnik will use the generated electricity for the production of hydrogen, thus reducing CO2 emissions.
According to GEN-I’s press release, the construction of the solar power plant is part of the OPERH2 project, which is being co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union, from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The development of this innovative technology is in the pilot phase, in the scope of which RCeNeM is currently building a hydrogen production plant.
The pilot set-up phase is expected to be completed in July this year when the solar power plant will be connected to the pilot device. This will be followed by an experimental development phase.
“We will produce extremely pure hydrogen through electrolysis and the use of energy from the solar power plant. That hydrogen will then be used in a pilot glass furnace with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint. We are thus introducing the use of a biocomponent in the fuel used in glass smelting,” stated Tilen Sever, a researcher at RCeNeM.
Peter Čas, General Director of Steklarna Hrastnik, said that the company began developing an innovative technology last year with partners from RCeNeM, with the aim of reducing the consumption of natural gas as an energy source in the glass smelting process, and thus reducing our carbon footprint significantly.
The set-up of the solar power plant is an important step in the implementation of that technology, noted Čas.
According to Robert Golob, GEN-I’s Management Board president, the company aims to offer its business partners the opportunity to make an effective green transformation and reduce their carbon footprint.