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Hydro has ambitious plans to reduce its own emissions by 30 percent in 2030 and become a net-zero company by 2050. There are multiple projects ongoing at all Hydro locations to switch to renewable energy sources. Some of those projects are focusing on purchasing renewable electricity, while others are concentrating on own production of renewable energy.

The solar fence project is a collaboration between Hydro Extrusions and the colleagues in the renewable energy company Hydro Rein.

"Every step matter on the path to zero emissions. The energy consumption at an extrusion plant is significant. The solar fence is a small contribution compared to our total energy consumption, but clearly shows that Hydro is finding new solutions where possible,” says Hubert Ronecker, Managing Director at the extrusion plant in Offenburg.

For security reasons, Hydro's plants are surrounded by a fence to prevent unauthorized people from entering the area. These fences are usually hundreds of meters long, so there is potential to implement similar fences at the more than 100 other Hydro plants globally.

Hydro solar fence

The solar fence in Offenburg is a photovoltaic system that will produce 85 MWh annually. The solar fence will be the first of its kind in Germany and it has photovoltaic solar panels on both sides to catch as much light as possible. The 90-degree angle of the panels is obviously less efficient than open field and rooftop installations, which are tilted in the optimal angle towards the sun.  As with the building facades, the fence is also an unused surface that can be used.

“We are looking forward to contributing with our capabilities within renewable energy solutions at this innovative project in Offenburg. This partnership is a perfect example of how Hydro is joining forces across the company to succeed with lowering industrial emissions at our extrusion plants,” says Olivier Girardot, Head of Hydro Rein.

The solar fence is supplied by the German company Next2Sun, who are also a customer of Hydro Extrusions. The frames and structure of the solar fence contain Hydro REDUXA low-carbon aluminium, which is extruded inside the factory in Offenburg.

Next year, the plant is planning to install a battery energy storage system and photovoltaic solar panels on the roof top of the factory building to reduce emissions even further.

The build phase of the solar fence project is planned to start in mid-October and the investment is expected to be completed by early December.


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