SIG begins installation of massive solar system at Linnich plant
SIG has begun building a large solar installation at its production site in Linnich, Germany, that will see the company further extend its lead in the beverage carton industry in the use of renewable energy. The 10.25MWp system, made up of 22,300 photovoltaic solar panels, will be the largest photo-voltaic system at an SIG plant to date.
“The thousands of solar panels we are installing in Linnich will double our on-site renewable energy capacity in Germany,” said Arnold Schuhwerk, head of Category Polymers & Energy Global at SIG. “This latest investment shows that SIG is not only committed to continue making its beverage cartons with 100% renewable energy, but to continually improve the quality of that renewable energy through physical power purchase agreements.”
The company recently secured physical power purchase agreements that will provide enough renewable energy capacity to power 100% of its carton packaging production in Germany from January 2023 – and the Linnich installation will enable more of this to come from its own sites.
Construction has begun on a gigantic ground-standing system of 20,600 panels that will occupy an 80,000m2 area in front of the Linnich plant – that’s the equivalent of 11 soccer fields. A further 1,700 panels will cover the plant’s rooftop to maximise potential to solar power on the site.
As the owner and operator of the Linnich photovoltaic system, Leipziger Stadtwerke
will pass on the solar power generated directly to SIG through a long-term power purchase agreement. The power will go straight into the production of SIG carton packs at the site.
“Leipziger Stadtwerke is driving forward the expansion of renewable energies, including working with partners like SIG. The solar installation at the SIG plant in Linnich is another milestone towards the decarbonising of energy systems in Germany,” said Maik Piehler, managing director of Leipziger Stadtwerke. “We are pleased to be able to make an important contribution to this. The project is one of the largest photovoltaic self-supply systems with direct connection in Germany that is operated without using the public grid and without any subsidies on industrial land.”
SIG already doubled its on-site solar capacity in 2021 to 11.3MWp and plans to triple this again within the next year. The Linnich system will play a big part in this expansion, together with installations in development at other SIG plants in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
The company’s focus on renewable energy is part of SIG’s Way Beyond Good Climate+ ambition that is driving down value chain carbon emissions for its business and its customers.
Use of renewable energy for carton packaging production has already avoided over half a million tonnes of CO2-equivalent and these savings will continue to grow. The new Linnich installation alone will generate enough renewable electricity to reduce more than 3,150 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.