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Hessing Supervers

Climate love

11,988 solar panels for fresh produce in grid congestion area

By: Erika van Zinderen Bakker

All 100 production lines of vegetable and fruit processor Hessing Supervers will cut, wash, dry and package on self-generated green energy. There are 11,988 solar panels on the roof of the new factory in Venlo, the Netherlands. That is special, because the factory is located in a network congestion area. The factory prevents feed-in to the power grid through high self-consumption and by buffering energy in ice water silos.

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It is rare that a solar power plant of this size is realized in a region where feeding back into the electricity grid is absolutely prohibited. With an installed capacity of 5,300 kilowatt peak (kWp) on about 50,000 square meters – ten football fields full of solar panels that provide enough power for 2,000 households all year round – this was an interesting challenge that Hessing took on together with energy company Groendus.

Ice water silos
The production lines in the factory consume a large part of the generated solar energy simultaneously. That energy is therefore used directly for cutting, washing, drying and packaging the fruit and vegetables. The energy that cannot be used immediately may not be returned to the grid and must therefore also be used for the company's own processes. Hessing uses, among other things, two ice water silos to cool fruit and vegetables. Because those silos have to cool continuously, the energy demand is high. So the remaining energy can be used for that.

Gunnar Larsen is senior project developer at Groendus and explains how the ice water silos are used. “The advantage of cooling with ice water is that the cooling process is much faster and more efficient than with other techniques. The silos have another useful function: you can buffer available excess solar energy in them. The solar energy can be converted one-to-one into cooling as soon as there is a threat of feed-back to the grid.” This means that the silos are cooled even more at such times. At times when less energy is available, the temperature can rise again. “That makes the ice water silos practical tools for efficient energy control and congestion management.”
'Europe's most sustainable fresh factory'
Hessing has been working on developing a future-proof factory since 2018. “New construction turned out to be the best choice for us to guarantee continuity of production and to accommodate future product innovations. Our wish was an environment where we cut, wash, dry and package fresh fruit and vegetables,” says Michel van Rijswijck, manager of Hessing Supervers. “We now meet the latest sustainability standards and the factory has been awarded the BREEAM 'Very Good' certificate. As a result, Hessing has the most sustainable fresh produce factory in Europe.”

The first production in the new factory has already started. In the coming months, even more machines will be moved from Hessing's other locations to the factory in Venlo. The move will be completed in the course of 2024. Then Hessing uses all his self-generated power to process fresh fruit and vegetables.

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18 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • johnte ndeto

    47 w

    Green energy clean energy all the way

    • Joyce Waturu

      47 w

      The integration of green energy on such a high note in the agricultural sector is a good and bold step.

      • zelda ninga

        47 w

        They indeed deserve the certificate, for they are doing a great job.

        • Elizabeth Gathigia

          47 w

          This is absolutely amazing

          • Munene Mugambi

            47 w

            Clean energy to reduce the congestion. Very well

            • Sarah Chabane

              47 w

              Inveesting for the future!

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