Solar panels in Belgium producing power, savings and cutting emissions
Recently, Mercury Marine's regional headquarters in Petit-Rechain, Belgium, completed the installation of 1,890 solar panels as part of the facility's roof refurbishment. Along with enhanced insulation and other energy conservation measures, the panels are providing power for the plant, reducing Mercury's annual energy costs - by about a third - and minimizing its reliance on the traditional power grid.
The panels are expected to produce nearly 460,000 kilowatts of power over the course of a year, yielding about a third of what the operation in Petit-Rechain consumes in power during a typical year, and provided about 55,000 euro in savings.
Through an arrangement with a third-party, Mercury also can sell to the power grid any excess energy produced by the panels. During the first 16 months of operation, the solar panels produced available power at 103 percent better than average yield expectations.
Further, as Mercury requires less power from the grid, it is estimated that this reduced demand on traditional European power generation translated to a reduction of more than 430 tons of CO2 emissions during the first 16 months of operation.
"The growing use of renewable energy sources, such as the solar-powered panels, is a natural evolution within Brunswick's sustainability efforts, which have been underway - particularly at Mercury Marine - for several years now," explained Kevin Grodzki, Brunswick's Vice President - Communications and Public Affairs.
"Employing renewable energy sources is part of a widening attempt by Brunswick to extend its sustainability efforts not only throughout the enterprise, but also to more fully embrace various elements and opportunities to promote and embed sustainable practices," Grodzki concluded.
In 2019, Brunswick will be looking to build upon Mercury Marine's solid work in sustainability by first canvasing and learning about current sustainability efforts within the Boat Group, and then moving forward to formalize practices and procedures in our boat plants and related operations. Grodzki will be coordinating that initiative.