Our key sustainability goal for this year just came true – we became a solar-powered clothing manufacturer! Being that it’s (almost) always sunny in Oraovica (over 200 days of strong sunshine), this was a no-brainer decision for us. Also, it should be for anyone who can afford an investment that generally pays itself out in a period between 5 and 15 years. Let’s see how we did it.
Of course, we didn’t do it ourselves – we got in touch with solar energy professionals from Sunčica, a company focused on installing solar systems and plants. It took them around two weeks to instal panels on 3000 square meters of roofs and connect them to the inverters and the grid. That’s quite fast for a team of two.
Can We Power Our Entire Factory with Solar Panels?
Yes, absolutely we can. Our solar system makes 100 kW of electric energy and the factory energy consumption never exceeds 80 kW. On top of that, we’ve installed hybrid inverters that can store energy in solar batteries. So if we expand, we’d be able to still rely on the sun to give us electricity. That would be the second step in our solar-powered journey towards zero emissions.
Why Solar Power?
Being that we intend to eliminate our contribution to global warming entirely within the next ten years, using one of the cleanest sources of energy to power our factories is a great start. Also, Serbia generates around 70% of electric energy by using non-renewable sources. So for us, to depend on the grid would mean we’d partake in increasing CO2 emissions, which is a big no-no for any sustainable clothing manufacturer.
Solar Future at FUSH
An investment such as this will start paying itself in approximately 5 years. That is when the second stage of investing in solar power would start for us and that is when we’d install the energy storage system (ESS) or in simpler terms – solar panel batteries. They’d allow us to install new machinery and stay solar as well as put more clean energy back into the grid. And there will be excess energy because the panels were already generating more electricity than we can consume on a sunny October day.
This way, we’d be able to contribute more significantly to clean energy generation in our country as well as further our sustainability goals.