Element Industrial (ELI) is a developer, investor, and asset manager of logistics and industrial real estate in Romania and southeastern Europe. Its business is designing, building, and leasing logistics and industrial buildings for companies in the fields of retail, e-commerce, production, logistics, and distribution. It is currently planning to incorporate rooftop solar systems into a number of logistics parks in Bucharest, Bacău, and Ploiești, as well as smaller warehouses. All those projects will feature buildings between 50,000 and 60,000 square meters in size and will be grouped under the brand Eli Xpress.
Such large buildings can consume massive amounts of electricity — something that is in short supply and quite expensive, thanks to the criminal assault by Russia on Romania’s neighbor, Ukraine. To address those concerns as well as reduce the carbon emissions associated with the thermal generation of electricity, ELI has signed an agreement with TESLA 50Hz, part of TESLA Group in Romania, to design and build rooftop solar installations on all ELI buildings across Romania over the next 3 to 5 years.
40 MW of Rooftop Solar
The first stage of the project will cover 250,000 square meters of industrial parks — enough to supply 40 MW of industrial-scale photovoltaic electricity. The power generation capacity at each location will vary between 2 and 4 MW. With each PV installation providing independent onsite energy generation for ELI industrial parks, the company will benefit from increased grid independence and power quality, while significantly decreasing the price of electricity for ELI park tenants — which is particularly important given the current energy crisis in Europe. The transition to solar will also significantly reduce the carbon footprint of ELI’s operations.
“This partnership reflects our strategy to develop a sustainable portfolio that will allow our tenants to cover at least 30% of their consumption from green energy,” says Andrei Jerca, the managing director of Element Industrial. “It is also an important commitment from our side towards green, sustainable logistics that will generate long term value for both our investors and occupiers. Our strategy is built on focusing on our clients’ needs in terms of business predictability, lower occupancy costs, support of their growth strategy, and developing true business communities in our industrial parks. Our partnership with TESLA 50Hz is a natural one as both companies share the same business principles and approaches,” he adds.
TESLA 50Hz, which is not affiliated with the US company Tesla headed by Elon Musk, will be responsible for the design and installation process, while also managing the electricity supply of each PV power plant. The installations will be supported by TESLA Blue Planet, a sister company. This collaboration will bring together the engineering teams of both companies to optimize the construction of buildings for easy PV rooftop installation. Crucially, this reduces the cost and time to construct solar installations, while ensuring higher system safety and operational efficiency.
TESLA Blue Planet will provide the energy storage component needed to provide a continuous supply of frequency and voltage stabilized electricity to all the tenants and commercial customers in ELI’s campuses when the output of the rooftop solar systems tapers off toward sunset. On its website, it says, “Our battery energy storage systems are equipped with the latest and most advanced battery storage technologies and produced in standardized serial manufacturing. This provides customers with products that supply the highest cost/efficiency ratio, short lead times, and full warranty protection.”
TESLA 50Hz uses CATL as its primary battery supplier, which assures customers they will be benefit from the experience and technical leadership of the world’s largest battery manufacturer.
TESLA 50Hz and SolarEdge
To support the clean energy initiative by ELI, all installations will be equipped with innovative DC-optimized technology supplied by SolarEdge. Its Power Optimizers connect to each pair of solar modules, turning them into smart modules. By constantly tracking the maximum power point of each module, SolarEdge Power Optimizers increase system energy production and shorten a system’s return on investment. In addition, they insure the lowest possible operation and maintenance costs over the lifetime of each rooftop solar system. SolarEdge technology was also selected for its advanced safety features that insure the highest level of safety for both people and property.
“We have been present in the renewable energy sector in Romania since 2010 and currently have 900 MWp of ground mount and rooftop installations either in operation or under development. Helping to drive this growth is our commitment to working with innovative technology providers, such as SolarEdge, to provide high quality, turnkey PV projects that deliver maximum value to customers throughout the lifetime of their installations,” says Dušan Lichardus, chairman of the board of TESLA Group.
“For example, for industrial property developers such as ELI, maximizing power generation to insure optimal savings for tenants is non-negotiable, and so having access to SolarEdge’s innovative Power Optimizer technology is critical. By combining its capabilities with the energy management system, the Tesla Advanced Microgrid Optimization System can deliver operational control on the individual panel level, which brings higher production, lower OPEX, longer technological life, and the highest industry safety standards to the asset owners.”
“We are an aggregator of energy assets from which we create balancing groups and virtual blocks to deliver individual clients new benefits from scale,” says TESLA 50Hz. It says that by using its software, predictive intelligence, and energy management automation, it can decrease the costs of electricity and increase revenues for its customers. “Our aggregation platform helps produce more emission-free energy and guarantees you the best levelized cost of energy,” it says.
SolarEdge is a critical part of the overall plan. As a global leader in smart energy technology, it leverages world class engineering capabilities. With a relentless focus on innovation, SolarEdge creates smart energy solutions that power our lives and drive future progress.
SolarEdge developed an intelligent inverter solution that changed the way power is harvested and managed in photovoltaic systems. The SolarEdge DC-optimized inverter maximizes power generation while lowering the cost of energy produced by the PV system. Continuing to advance smart energy, SolarEdge addresses a broad range of energy market segments through its PV, storage, EV charging, batteries, power supplies, electric vehicle powertrains, and grid services solutions.
There are a lot of roofs on commercial buildings, airports, and parking lots in the world. Where sometimes grid-scale solar can run into opposition from local communities, no one ever objects if there are solar panels on the roof of that warehouse or big box store in the neighborhood. In fact, if most of them were covered in solar panels, we would be a lot closer to having enough clean solar energy for everyone.
The other advantage is that each roof can act as part of a local microgrid, free of worries about downed transmission lines or other weather related power outages. Once one large commercial company like ELI adopts rooftop solar power, its peers and competitors will start thinking about doing the same. It may be that Europe needs every solar panel it can get right now, but all that lovely solar power will still be available long after the emergency in Ukraine ends.
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- Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2023/01/23/tesla-50hz-to-provide-40-mw-of-rooftop-solar-to-element-industrial-in-romania/