In future, employees of the inverter manufacturer SMA will be able to charge their electric vehicles at work with low-cost solar power. The Kassel-based company has added more charging stations to the existing ones. SMA has thus increased the number of charging stations at its headquarters to 103.
Number of electric vehicles on the rise
The installation of a further 100 charge points is planned for next year. “At SMA, we are systematically expanding the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles to meet the growing needs of our employees and visitors. We are also focusing on 100 per cent electric mobility for our vehicle fleet,” explains Andre Kühn, Head of Corporate Real Estate Management at SMA.
New factory also gets charge points
Naturally, SMA used its own products to expand the charging infrastructure. SMA EV Chargers were installed. These are regularly used by 224 employees who are registered as electric vehicle users.
However, the now 95 electrically powered company cars and numerous other pool vehicles also charge at the charging stations. With the completion of the new gigawatt factory, which is currently under construction, the number of charge points is set to increase by another 30 per cent.
Complete switch to green electricity
The charging current for the electric vehicles comes from renewable sources – as does the electricity for all of SMA’s requirements at its main site in Niestetal, a district of Kassel.
For its future electricity mix, SMA is not only focusing on 100 per cent green electricity, but also on significantly more solar energy from its own systems. The aim is to purchase around 17,000 megawatt hours in 2023 and 2024 itself and via a power purchase agreement (PPA).
Heat pumps replace gas heating
But that’s not all: SMA will also continue to make progress in the area of energy saving. The aim is to reduce energy consumption by 24 per cent by the end of 2024. To achieve this, the inverter manufacturer will not only install heat pumps for the heat supply, but also convert the lighting to LED across the board and build new solar systems. “A cross-divisional team is identifying potential savings and implementing measures to reduce energy consumption and make it climate-friendly,” says Andre Kühn.
Saving 5,800 megawatt hours
Overall, the plan envisages that SMA will save around 5,800 megawatt hours of energy by the end of 2024 compared to consumption in 2022. In addition, around 9,000 further megawatt hours of solar power will be used directly.
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In several buildings, SMA is switching the heating from gas to heat pumps. The “Warming instead of heating” project is also entering the next round. This involves employees in logistics wearing clothing with a heating function. This allows the room temperature in the warehouse and logistics rooms to be reduced by up to five degrees Celsius.
Solar park to be repowered
Another step is the modernisation of the existing photovoltaic power plant on Sandershäuser Berg, right next to SMA’s Plant 3 in Niestetal. After repowering, the plant will have an output of around 5.4 megawatts.
The previous output was 3.two megawatts. Additional solar power will also come from SMA’s new gigawatt factory. Modules with a total output of 1.05 megawatts are to be installed on the roof there. (su/mfo)