The Hazelaar plant in Koningsbosch in the Netherlands, which has been in operation since 1965, has undergone many changes over the years. Today, with a total of 150 employees, it is one of the largest calcium silicate block plants in Europe. Innovations and digitalization projects have been driven forward there for years. Most recently, numerous measures were carried out as part of decarbonization projects, such as the installation of insulation in the hot water pipes & valves, the insulation of the autoclave rings, so that less fuel is now required at the boilers. Now another project for more energy efficiency followed: the installation of photovoltaic systems.
Green energy through own photovoltaic systems
In 2019, the Xella Group set itself the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2030. To achieve this goal, photovoltaic systems on our plants play an important role. In the Netherlands, these are to be installed at all plants to generate our own green energy for the production process.
Planning for this began back in 2019, when several options were considered: installation on plant roofs, on ground or on open lakes. Several potential partner companies were examined. In 2021, the choice fell on Groendus B.V..
800 solar panels in use
The installation of solar panels at 'De Hazelaar' in Koningsbosch is the first project in the Netherlands and started in early 2022. The sawmill building with a roof area of 3000 square meters was selected for implementation. A construction with a flat roof and all-day solar radiation were the reasons for choosing this building. A total of 800 solar panels are in use.
The total installed capacity is 380,000 kWh peak/year, which is about six percent of the total electricity consumption of the plant. The project was recently put into operation.
Further photovoltaic plants to follow
Further photovoltaic projects are currently being planned in the Netherlands, including for the roofs of the Northwest Europe head office, the autoclaved aerated concrete plant, and the lime mortar factory, in Vuren. The aim is to complete the project before the end of the year. In parallel, we are also preparing to install solar cells on the roofs of the autoclaved aerated concrete plant in Meppel.