In a business like ours, we aim to have the best shot, story, and overall deliverable to our clients. We sweat over floor plans, camera details, and settings, with an often mad dash to seize an opportunity to stand out and be recognized. We have yet to acknowledge our ecological and environmental impact as an industry.
I’ll be the first to say I recycle at home. Cardboard, glass, and anything else gets tossed into the recycling bin if our facilities accept it. Yet, if I am honest with myself, my actions stop there. Regarding work and gear, I think far more about how my equipment will help me improve.
Maybe it is time we consider our impact on the world as an industry. One company is a bit ahead of the curve, BLUESHAPE Energy. You know, their camera batteries and charging stations. Well, did you know their factory in Malta recently installed solar panels to offset their energy costs and desire to become more environmental with their production?
Pietro Vignali, the director of BLUESHAPE Energy Inside, spoke about the decision to install solar power on the BLUESHAPE factory and provided some insights about the project.
PVC: What spurred BLUESHAPE to install Solar?
Pietro: Having the factory in Malta, a country where the sun is high almost all year long, we had the desire to start doing something for the environment while utilizing that incredible free resource.
PVC: How long did the process take?
Pietro: When the design, governmental permit, roof preparation and actual installation are considered, the process took about 16 months. There were also adjustments to the system for optimum performance.
PVC: What exactly was installed?
Pietro: We covered about 14,000 square feet of roof with solar panels deployed at a very low angle in order to get the maximum average efficiency during all the daily sun time. We also had to install an array of inverters that are controlled by another unit. The system is extremely efficient and allows us to use the advantage of the plant location.
For example, In January and February, we generate about 50% of what we generate in June. This is very good for a solar plant and is still far above what we consume.
PVC: How can you evaluate the system’s performance?
Pietro: The system control panel has an online, real-time monitor that provides online feedback. This includes production data not only at the moment of monitoring but also can display records by the week, month and year. While it provides the information in kilowatt hours, it also expresses the amount of coal that would be needed for that level, the amount of CO2 production avoided and the number of trees that would be required to offset that CO2 production.
PVC: What has been the net benefit of going Solar?
Pietro: We are generating about 30 megawatt hours (MWh) per month, much more than what the factory actually uses. We are able to keep the factory operating while doing something significant to pay back the environment. Since the switch-on of the installation months ago, we have saved more than 100 tons of coal and avoided making 120 tons of CO2. Those start-up numbers are equivalent to what is filtered by 150 trees, which is a small forest, and we are happy for that.
PVC: Would BLUESHAPE suggest this to other companies?
Pietro: Most factories are large buildings with a flat roof area; they are also energy hungry and are ideal for a project such as ours. The initial expense of installing solar is recovered through the savings of the expense of purchasing energy, supporting the significant benefit of protecting the air and the environment. It is not what is expedient at the moment that is the most important – it is doing what is right for the industry and the planet.
We jump from project to project with barely anytime to think about our impact on the environment. Maybe we are seeing a start in our industry to becoming more mindful of our impact on Earth.