In countries like Denmark, keeping houses warm requires high energy consumption which affects the wallet and the environment. Faced with this situation, the authorities have promoted the construction of the world’s largest solar thermal power plant which, with 12,436 panels installed over an area of 156,694 square meters in Silkeborg, in the center of the country, has an annual output of 80 000 MWh.
With this energy, the macro-installation, in operation since the end of last year, should cover the heating needs of 4,400 homes, which translates into 20% of energy consumption for heat production in this Swiss region.
Built by Silkeborg Forsyning and Arcon-Sunmark, a company specializing in large-scale solar thermal power plants, the power station snatched a record which however remains in Denmark, since the largest solar thermal installation until the start of operation of the one in Silkeborg was located very close, in particular in Vojens. There, the same company had already installed a plant of 70,000 square meters (half of the current one) with a production capacity of 28,000 MWh.
Despite the enormous proportions of the Silkeborg factory, it was hatched and built in 2016: the contract was signed in February, construction began in May, and in December, seven months later, the facilities came into service. For this to be possible, trucks loaded with 12.6 square meters of solar panels had to be no more and no less than 445 trips to move all teams to Silkeborg.
A sunny day results in this plant which 2.7 million liters of water flow through the system every hour, which is connected by more than a kilometer of pipes to the district heating unit. “We are proud to be part of this project, which tests the speed with which the transition to renewable energies can be executed“, says Arcon-Sunmark chief Søren Elisiussen.
The location of this plant is not accidental, not only because of Silkeborg’s need for alternative energy sources for air conditioning in homes, but also because the authorities in this region of Denmark pursue the objective of being independent from coal and oil by 2030, for which they have taken an important step with the installation of this solar power plant.
More information in Arcon-Sunmark.