Michelin Installing Europe’s Largest Photovoltaic Roof
Michelin will soon be the proud owner of Europe’s largest photovoltaic roof panel installation – the company plans to fit more than 147,000 square metres of solar panels on the roof of its facility in Cuneo, Italy. With annual production of nearly 10 million kWh, the panels will provide electricity for 2,000 inhabitants while reducing the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by 1,200 tonnes a year. The photovoltaic power plant is scheduled to be operational in early 2010. It will be developed and operated by Frey Nouvelles Energies, a company that produces electrical power from renewable energy sources.
Michelin cites environmental stewardship as one of its core values and an integral component of the Michelin Performance and Responsibility approach. Lowering CO2 emissions is one of six major paths Michelin says it is pursuing to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations. A number of projects are already underway: in Germany photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roofs of four factories, and two wind turbines are operational at the company’s Dundee plant. In Bassens, France, 20 per cent of the plant’s needs in energy are recovered from the combustion of industrial waste in two nearby incinerators.
Every day the Cuneo facility produces some 1,000 tonnes of semi-finished products and 300 tonnes of tyres and inner tubes.