- Summer solstice on June 21 provides Europe with 903 minutes of sunlight
- One of the world's largest solar power plants in the automotive industry can be found at the SEAT Martorell factory
- Covering an area equivalent to 40 football fields, its 53,000 panels reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 4,000 tonnes annually
- The plant generates 17 million kWh a year, enough energy to charge 3,000 mobile phones every day or supply the needs of a city with 15,000 inhabitants
Martorell– The summer solstice on June 21 provides Europe with 903 minutes of sunlight and SEAT's Martorell factory is making the most of every second.
With Spain and southern Europe enjoying between 2,500 and 3,000 sunlight hours a year it's the perfect place for one of the automotive industry's largest solar power sites.
The SEAT al Sol project is celebrating five years in operation by revealing the incredible statistics behind the photovoltaic plant:
– A photovoltaic plant measuring 276,000 square metres: With an extension equivalent to 40 football fields, the company installed a total of six photovoltaic plants in 2013 with more than 53,000 solar panels. Located on the roofs of the workshops and the temporary finished vehicle holding area, this facility has generated more than 112 million kWh since it was put into operation.
– Enough energy to charge 3,000 mobile phones every day for a whole year:More than 17 million kWh are generated at this plant every year, enough energy to supply the needs of a city with 15,000 inhabitants or charge 3,000 mobile phones every day for an entire year. The generated electricity is reused in the factory and represents 6% of the total energy consumption required by Martorell. In fact, this energy has enabled the production of 67,000 cars since the facility became operational.
– Bird's-eye view monitoring: A drone is responsible for a part of the maintenance of this facility. It flies over the whole plant once a month, equipped with a visual sensor and a thermographic camera, to perform an analysis of the panels and verify their operation. A total of 16 inspection flights are made at a height of 35 metres.
– An asset to the environment: This facility also helps ensure cleaner air, as it cuts down annual CO2emissions by around 4,000 tonnes. This reduction is comparable to the result obtained by putting five Central Parks together – a green lung that would measure 17 square kilometres. The company's goal is to reduce its water consumption, CO2 emissions and waste generated, among others, by half compared to the year 2010.