The construction of the UK’s largest solar park at Shotwick, Cheshire, adjacent to the UPM Shotton site, has brought yet another opportunity for UPM to deliver on its 2030 renewable energy target to reduce fossil CO2 emissions by 30%.
The solar park is constructed by British Solar Renewables in conjunction with WeLink Group – a specialised renewable energy company. Using the latest in both photo-voltaic panels and cutting edge conversion technology, the plant can produce on average 65 MWh/year. Solar power is a highly efficient method of energy production with zero moving parts, meaning maintenance is kept to a minimum.
A direct link to UPM Shotton’s own infrastructure means that the paper mill can operate on 100% renewable energy during daylight hours.
The start-up of its second steam turbine, utilising excess steam from its biomass combined heat power plant (CHP), in December 2016, means the mill will be on track to meet its own energy efficiency targets and significantly contribute to UPM Group’s 2030 responsibility targets.
In addition, the UK Office of Gas and Energy Markets has calculated the 50MW Shotwick site will generate CO2 savings of around 202,500 tonnes per year.
Renewable energy has played an important role in the responsibility success story for UPM Shotton over the past decade. The transition to 100% renewable energy started in 2006 with the start-up of CHP. With a focus on energy efficiency, the mill has continued to reduce its use of fossil fuels from the national grid. The solar park development means it will reduce its purchase of power to almost half.