PPK Karlovac: Meat Industry Constructs Own Solar Power Plant

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac writes on the 5th of September, 2020, at PPK Karlovac, one of the leading Croatian food companies, a solar power plant covering an area of ​​7,500 square metres and an output of 1.2 MW was put into operation. A total of 3,939 photovoltaic modules, each with a power of 305 W, produce electricity for their own consumption, which PPK Karlovac has implemented in its production processes.

The annual production of the solar power plant is expected to be 1.2 GWh, while the consumption of electricity from conventional sources stands at 10.7 GWh annually. PPK Karlovac’s investment is worth 7.2 million kuna, and the energy savings will amount to 10.89 percent, or 830 thousand kuna per year, while the payback period is estimated at 5.2 years. The project also aims to contribute to the preservation of the environment, which will be reflected in the reduction of CO2 emissions by 274 tonnes per year.

”We include high environmental standards and principles of sustainable development in the basic determinants of our business. In addition to the progress in the application of environmental protection standards, the financial effects of the project are of course important, and we’re very pleased that during the trial period we even managed to exceed the expected results, achieving production of 720 MWh of electricity. We’re especially pleased that this project is entirely a Croatian domestic product. The designer and contractor of our solar power plant was the Croatian company Enerco Solar, and all of the construction equipment, including the panels of the Croatian manufacturer SOLVIS, come from domestic production,” said Igor Miljak, President of the PPK Karlovac meat industry.

The total value of PPK Karlovac’s investment stands at 7.2 million kuna, with 50 percent of it having been co-financed by grants from the Ministry of Agriculture.

”The independent creation of resources for production while reducing the negative effects on the environment are the direction in which the European Union sees and plans the means and goals in the coming period. Investments in renewable energy sources are a step towards sustainable development, which means saving money, resources and caring for the environment, it also means increasing efficiency, rationalising costs and a positive impact on the state of resources. The use of renewable energy sources will continue to be an important intervention in the future National Strategic Plan and will enable successful producers and processors to reduce operating costs. Large companies and leaders in individual industries must be the drivers of development and take responsibility and an initiative in promoting green goals and domestic solutions. PPK Karlovac is among them and I’d like to congratulate them on making this step forward,” said the Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic.

This solar power plant was realised in cooperation with the company HEP ESCO, a member of the HEP Group, as the first project from the HEP EE solar plus Programme, which refers to investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources for industrial facilities.

”Croatia’s energy picture is changing rapidly. Energy production at the point of consumption has multiple benefits both for the user of that energy and for the environment and for Croatia as a whole. The idea is that integrated solar power plants produce the optimal amount of energy for the needs of the facility and thus reduce energy costs in the long run. HEP, like all large energy companies, has recognised the trends and needs of the market and in its offer, and in addition to the supply of energy, it is including more and more complex and modern energy services. Among them is the construction of solar power plants on a ”turnkey” basis, which is realised according to the ESCO model. Starting from the role of the carrier of Croatia’s energy transition to a low-carbon society, HEP wants to establish a strong partnership with the industrial sector on projects such as PPK Karlovac’s solar power plant,” said HEP ESCO CEO Zeljko Jelacic.

PPK Karlovac meat industry is part of the larger Pivac Group, which continuously invests in projects aimed at preserving the environment and reducing the negative impact on it. After the completion of the investment in Karlovac, the company plans to build a solar power plant with a capacity of 2 MW in the new Braca Pivac facility, which is currently being built in the Ravca Economic Zone close to Vrgorac. Other investments in the form of solar power plants are also planned in Cakovec and Karlovac.

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