The FXB Group within the Xewkija Industrial Estate decided to invest in a mix of renewable energy systems to partially offset the plant's energy consumption.
The company FXB Group manufactures furniture for the local domestic market. The operation of such manufacturing operation is quite energy demanding. In fact, the building consumes around 800 MWh annually. In an effort to decrease the building’s energy demand, the manufacturing industry decided to partially cover the consumption of the building by installing a solar PV system and a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT).
The entire PV system is made up of 409 polycrystalline PV panels each having a peak power of 245Wp, giving the whole installation a peak power of 100.20 kWp. It also includes a 4kW vertical axis wind turbine, 16m in height, 3m in diameter which is capable of generating four units of electricity at optimum wind speeds.
The annual energy generation in 2018 reached almost 160 MWh which is equivalent to a reduction of 112 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
The practice reaches its objectives since the installation of the PV system offsets the conventional energy demanded by the building from renewable energy sources, contributes to the achievement of the 10% share of renewable energy generated and contributes to a cleaner environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Financial Feasibility study to determine the viability of the project; Sources of Funds: The investment for this project were secured through the industry’s own capital and through the Government of Malta which provided a grant of 50% of the eligible funds. Total cost for this project was €105,000.
Evidence of success
The project was successfully realised and the PV panels and the VAWT are fully functional. The energy generated from the PV panels and VAWT is 160 MWh and covers over 20% of the building’s energy demand. This translates into an emissions reduction of of 112.64 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Any excess and sells any excess electrical energy generated and not consumed instantaneously is transferred to the Enemalta grid and sold at a particular feed-in-tariff.
Long administration process in getting clearance from the Planning Authority and Enemalta regarding permit to install PV system & VAWT due to visual impact and grid.
Potential for learning or transfer
The general method by which the project was realized is a very straight-forward practice despite having many different governing bodies involved. Starting from the beginning there was the financial feasibility study which was conducted to determine the viability of the project, the clearance and no objection from the Planning Authority, Enemalta and Regulator for Energy and Water Services (REWS) as well as the installation of the PV system & VAWT by the contractor. This practice is potentially interesting because 20% of the building’s energy demand is covered through the PV system and VAWT installed. The methodology followed for the realization of the project needs to be more flexible in order to support SMEs and large industries in Malta. There is too much bureaucratic procedures to follow and many entities to go to: PA, Enemalta and REWS. This is in addition to the long administrative processes following the clearance from these entities.
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