Steel Gerlafingen roller hall: 4,500 solar modules will be erected on this industrial roof. Photo: Stahl Gerlafingen
The Swiss company Stahl Gerlafingen and the energy cooperative ADEV have signed a usage agreement to install a 2 MW solar system. The system is expected to deliver 2 million kWh of solar energy annually for steel production in Gerlafingen from 2024.
ADEV, based in Liestal, is building the said system with 2 MW output on the roof of Stahl Gerlafingen's rolling hall in the canton of Solothurn. The industrial company uses all solar power in its own production.
"The advantage of our solution is that the company does not have to make any investments and receives clean electricity at advantageous conditions," explains project manager Pascal Moser from ADEV.
Around 4,500 modules will be mounted on the slightly inclined sheet metal roof. A special lightweight substructure was chosen in order to maintain the maximum load capacity of the huge roof. Due to its extraordinary size, the regional energy supplier will integrate the system directly into its control system. Construction is scheduled to be completed in April 2024 and the facility is expected to produce 2 million kWh of solar energy per year.
Sustainability with recycling
Stahl Gerlafingen produces around 700,000 t of reinforcement and profile steel every year. Iron scrap serves as the raw material. This makes the company the largest recycling company in Switzerland and contributes to the realization of the circular steel economy.
“Steel is a special material that can be recycled infinitely and is therefore inherently sustainable. However, its production requires a lot of energy. The solar system is a beautiful example of creating and passing on value to all our stakeholders for the benefit of even more sustainable steel production in Switzerland," said Alain Creteur, CEO of Stahl Gerlafingen.
The Italy-based AFV Beltrame Group, the owner of the Swiss steelworks, has set itself the goal of reducing its climate emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and increasing the use of green electricity.