SEAT al Sol – sunny side up
November 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
To round off today’s all-things-SEAT series of stories, here’s a look at the largest rooftop array of solar panels in Spain. SEAT’s Martorell production plant and headquarters, near Barcelona, boast four near-fields of 40,000 photovoltaic cells to a total of 230,000 square metres. Operational since December 2010, these now generate 8MW of power, meaning that half the plant’s energy is generated on-site, and a planned expansion will take this to 10.6MW, 55,000 cells and a total area of 320,000 square metres; projected carbon dioxide emissions savings are 6,200 tonnes a year and the total ‘al Sol’ investment will add up to some 40 million euros. It’s an impressive display, the scale of which can barely be hinted at in a snapshot, but anyway…
SEAT was also keen to show off its very own railway: three trains a day, each carrying 170 cars, set off for the Port of Barcelona (40% of SEATs are exported by sea). There is also a rail link between Martorell and another of SEAT’s facilities at Zona Franca, just outside Barcelona; SEAT is ultimately hoping to link its own railway up with the public system and transport finished cars by rail to the furthest corners of Europe, and to export 30% of vehicles in this way. At the moment, 11% of cars are leaving SEAT’s factories by train, though even this is claimed to save some 57,000 heavy lorry journeys and 2,600 tonnes of CO2 a year.