LIXIL Corporation, a leading player in the global home and construction market, has opened a solar power plant at the GROHE plant in Albergaria, Portugal, as part of its global environmental strategy to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The solar power plant, consisting of 2270 photovoltaic modules, has a total peak power of 1500 kilowatts (kW), which will provide 8% of the energy needs of the production. Its opening will also reduce CO2 emissions by more than 740 tons per year.
The opening of the solar power plant was attended by Duarte Cordeiro, Minister of the Environment and Climate of Portugal, and Antonio Loureiro, Mayor of the municipality of Albergaria a Velha.
“I am confident that we will be able to accelerate Portugal’s transition to a carbon neutral economy, as well as increase the competitiveness of our companies through decarbonization, reducing energy consumption and promoting endogenous energy sources. Portugal has set a target to increase to 80% the share of renewable energy, which was previously set for 2030, but can be postponed. Therefore, cooperation with LIXIL is important for us, and the opening of a solar power plant is a huge step towards achieving this goal,” said Duarte Cordeiro, Minister of the Environment and Climate of Portugal.
“The production of the GROHE brand, which is part of LIXIL, has been successfully operating in our municipality for over 25 years and is the backbone of its economic development. Over the past 10 years, GROHE has consistently invested in production (this is the fourth major investment), which demonstrates the dynamics, the desire for innovative excellence, and most importantly, shows how important Albergaria is to the corporation due to its geographical location, tax policy, skilled workforce and quality of life,” added Antonio Loureiro, Mayor of Albergaria a Velha.
“LIXIL innovates and scales solutions to make a positive impact on the planet. The use of renewable energy sources is a key element to further reduce our carbon footprint. As of April 2020, LIXIL International’s sanitary ware factories have moved to a carbon neutral operation, with all inevitable CO2 emissions offset,” said Jens Harder, Manufacturing Fittings Leader LIXIL International.
“I am glad that the plant will now be able to cover 8% of annual energy needs on its own. This will allow us to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 740 tons per year. But we are talking about the production of more than 2 million kitchen faucets, 1.6 million thermostatic cartridges and 1.4 million thermostats per year. This step by step brings us closer to the main goal of making production as sustainable as possible,” said Joao Brach, Plant Manager Fittings LIXIL International in Albergaria.
The solar power plant consists of two sections: one with ground modules, the other with solar shaders (canopies). In addition to generating energy, solar shaders will be used as a natural canopy over parking spaces (about 270 cars will receive protection from the sun and rain). Special charging stations for electric vehicles will also be installed.
The opening of the solar power plant is one of the measures taken by LIXIL to green its production facilities, including the GROHE brand, which produces thermostats, kitchen faucets, water systems and other PVD colored sanitary products** in Albergaria. Other eco-initiatives include the reduction of water consumption in the production process.