Europe’s largest solar mirror platform commissioned in Turnhout

On Wednesday, Avery Dennison, a leading global packaging and materials manufacturer, commissioned Europe’s largest Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) platform and thermal storage unit at its production plant in Turnhout, Belgium. The project collaborates with Limburg-based Azteq, an organization that builds, develops, and maintains CST facilities.

The renewable energy project contains a CST platform with 2 240 surface mirrors, a solar field peak yield of 2,7 GWh thermal power, and six thermal storage modules with a capacity of 5 MWh thermal power.

Parabolic mirrors

The CST platform covers roughly 5 540 square meters and will contain the largest installation of parabolic mirrors combined with thermal energy storage in a European industrial setting. It can produce and dispatch high-temperature thermal energy, both day and night, on demand.

By supplying zero-carbon solar energy, the project will help provide heat to run drying ovens used during the coating process of pressure-sensitive adhesive products manufactured at the site. These products are used in automotive, building and construction, medical devices, and personal care.

Less greenhouse gas emissions

The total installation will provide heat equivalent to 2.3 GWh of gas consumption, reducing the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 9 percent annually compared to current rates. It will provide up to 100 percent of the factory’s heat demand during summer and high-sunshine periods.

Tinne  Van der Straeten, Belgian Minister of Energy: “The clean energy transition is the only path to a sustainable future. Investments in innovative renewable energy sources, like this project in Turnhout, will lower our carbon output and positively affect climate change.”

Koen Vermout, CEO of Azteq, commented on the project’s potential for creating a shared future for greener industrial heat. “This project will have tremendous payoffs for the company and the local community by helping reduce the plant’s carbon footprint, lowering energy usage, and ensuring reliable thermal energy supply for manufacturing operations throughout the lifespan.”

‘Solar grazing’

Together with the local Turnhout community, Avery Dennison plans to have sheep graze the fields and grass beyond the mirror installation. The sheep replace lawnmowers and support biodiversity on site.

So-called “solar grazing” is a common practice as part of “agrivoltaics” and is used for solar and PV installations as a way for both industries to utilize the same ground. The program causes no harm to the animals.

Avery Dennison & Azteq

Avery Dennison Corporation is a global materials science company specializing in designing and manufacturing various labeling and functional materials.

Azteq is a Belgian company dedicated to engineering and constructing solar thermal plants producing up to 400°C for industrial processes (steam, thermal oil, hot water…).


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