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Polenergia With Its First Own Photovoltaic Apiary

2020-06-08

Polenergia S.A. (“Polenergia”), the largest Polish private, vertically integrated energy group, has been running its own apiary for approx. 2 months now. Half a million bees living in ten beehives and a melliferous plant meadow of several hectares increase the bio-diversity of the PV Sulechów I farm with a capacity of 8 MW, the Group's very first photovoltaic project.
 

 

The fifth of June marks the World Environment Day, established almost half a century ago by the General Assembly of the United Nations at the Stockholm Conference. The event is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world. This year, the motto of the day is protection of biodiversity and its role in our life.

An ideal example of Polenergia’s activities in the realm of environmental protection is the Group’s very first apiary which was established in April in the premises of the large-surface photovoltaic farms in the Sulechów commune. Due to technological reasons (distances between rows, access roads) structures composed of 30,000 PV panels with a total capacity of 8 MW occupy only a half of over 16 hectares of the Sulechów I investment. Therefore, a decision was made to hand over the unmanaged part to nature and to establish the so-called melliferous meadows in the area of the farm, which may be used by the bees. In this mode, Polenergia not only generates green energy, but also contributes to increased bio-diversity of the agricultural monoculture surrounding the farms.

Polenergia’s apiary in Sulechów comprises 10 bee swarms inhabiting wooden Wielkopolska beehives. It is taken care of by the Plon family company from Piotrków Trybunalski, which has been passing on the bee-keeping traditions from generation to generation. After two months of intense care, all bee swarms are developing well and working hard on the agricultural areas surrounding the photovoltaic farms. The effect of their labour will be the delicious and healthy honey. Every year, from 20 to 40 kilograms of honey can be harvested from every beehive.

“In the daily grind, we rarely wonder how our lives would look like if there was no biological diversity. And yet the man’s welfare is strongly dependant on nature, whereas biological diversity is an indispensable element of the human health. The area of Sulechów I photovoltaic farm is an excellent venue to help animals on which our lives depend. We are hoping that similar activities will be implemented in other projects of this type in Poland, not only on the green investments of Polenergia. The development potential of large surface PV farms is huge. This is also a great opportunity to help bio-diversity and insects. This is what sustainable development is about,” says Marta Porzuczek who manages the Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Division in the Polenergia Group.

Sulechów I project comprises eight photovoltaic farms, each of them with a capacity of 1 MW. The facilities are located in Kruszyna in the Sulechów Commune in Lubuskie Province. The construction lasted from April to September 2019. 2 km of medium voltage cable, 8 km of low voltage cable and 100 km of constant voltage cable were used for the contract implementation. Domestic share of manufacturers in supply chains exceeded 50 percent. The investments received certificates of occupancy in October 2019, whereas production of energy started in November. Since 2020, they have been producing energy in the auction mode. The estimated annual production will exceed 8 GWh, which corresponds to the annual demand for electric energy of 4,500 households. This will also allow to avoid annual emission of 8,000 tons of carbon dioxide. The time of operation of photovoltaic installation is estimated at 25 years, which corresponds to cumulative production on the level of approx. 200 GWh.

“From the perspective of environmental protection, the fact that apart from production of clean energy, panels used for the Sulechów I investment are provided with the PV Cycle certificate, is also essential. This means that every used or damaged panel will be subjected in 100% to a recycling process (silicone, glass, aluminium). Solar and electric conduits and the remaining technical infrastructure (inverters, low voltage/ medium voltage distributors) will also be recycled,” adds Marta Porzuczek.

For a number of years, Polenergia has been implementing the Environmental and Social Policy, where the main goal is sustainable development as a foundation for wise management of business activity. Being in the group of Polish market leaders of renewable energy means being guided by social responsibility for present and future generations and thus care for the environment by reduction of greenhouse gas emission, minimisation of impact of operation on the environment and improvement of biodiversity.
 

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Polenergia With Its First Own Photovoltaic Apiary