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Valenciaport installs a pioneering walkable solar panel system

  • The solar pavement is located in the north dock of the Port of Valencia and can be used both in pedestrian areas and in areas of occasional traffic.
  • Innovation and sustainability, two priority axes in the Valenciaport 2030 strategy, zero emissions, come together in this project that places the Port Authority of Valencia as a benchmark in decarbonization and SmartPorts.
  • The project, implemented by the start-up Solum, is part of the SuperLabPorts initiative and is co-financed by Fundación Valenciaport with the support of the PAV within the framework of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator.

Valencia, May 27, 2021.- Solar panels installed on the ground, walkable by pedestrians and vehicles, an adaptable pavement to place on any plot of land, connected with photovoltaic modules and wiring to bring energy to the grid. A pioneering project in a port area that has been presented today at the Port of Valencia and that places it at the forefront of innovation and sustainability in its Valenciaport 2030 strategy, zero emissions. In addition, this initiative opens the door to take advantage of large port spaces to generate solar energy and positions Valenciaport as a benchmark in SmartPorts.

Specifically, a total of 24 walkable solar tiles have been installed in the north dock of the Port of Valencia with a power of more than 1 kWp in just six square meters of surface, with an energy production equivalent to half of what is consumed annually in a household of three people, which will avoid emitting 5.7 tons of CO2 per year. A pilot project that provides an innovative solution in the field of sustainability in the maritime-port sector, and serves to test the production of electricity in outdoor conditions, exposed to the effects of salinity and other atmospheric factors. “It is one more of the bets we are developing in Valenciaport in cutting-edge technological proposals that provide the enclosure of green and clean energy in our commitment to decarbonization, while supporting entrepreneurship to act as a catalyst for innovation that generates new businesses and opportunities for young talent,” explained Federico Torres, head of Ecological Transition of the Port Authority of Valencia.

“This type of sustainable innovative solutions are a reality of Valenciaport’s conviction to be catalysts of tractor initiatives that accelerate their implementation in different areas. In this case, it helps us to analyze the production capacity and the sites where it can be installed, such as the accesses to buildings or the new passenger terminal. It also shows our responsibility with the front line in the fight against climate change,” added Federico Torres. Thus, he recalled other projects such as H2PORTS, included in the Hydrogen Roadmap of the Government of Spain, which will make the Port of Valencia the first in Europe to use vehicles and port machinery powered by hydrogen fuel cells. In this line, Valenciaport is also advancing in the installation of solar roofs in Valencia or Gandia, the installation of a wind power plant or the electrification of the docks of the Port of Valencia.

Innovation and sustainability center

The use of solar pavement in the Port of Valencia has been developed by SOLUM, one of the start-ups selected by the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV) and the Valenciaport Foundation within the framework of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator, which responded to the challenge launched by Valenciaport on innovation in photovoltaic installations in ports and which, by accessing phase 3 of the accelerator has received financial support of 30,000 euros.

The general director of Fundación Valenciaport, Antonio Torregrosa, explained that “one of the main purposes of this initiative is to attract talent to the logistics-port sector by applying an open innovation strategy in the Port of Valencia, in alignment with one of the major demonstrators in the new EIT Climate-KIC strategy (Deep Demonstration Net-Zero-Emissions for Resilient Maritime Hubs), where the co-design of innovative solutions of the actors involved can be developed and implemented in the port area, thus contributing to achieve its challenge of zero net emissions in 2030”.

For his part, SOLUM’s Product and Innovation Director, Luis Muñoz, indicated that “this solar floor is 100% walkable with a design integrated into the urban architecture that guarantees anti-slip, with regenerative properties and a greater resistance than concrete that makes it resistant to loads, impacts and scratching. The system generates clean energy thanks to the high-efficiency photovoltaic cells integrated inside.”

This innovative photovoltaic solution can be installed in both pedestrian zones and areas with occasional traffic. These solar panels are much more resistant to erosion and easy maintenance and, in a place like the Port of Valencia, they also have the advantage of being able to produce energy in areas where a panel could not be installed.

#SuperLabPorts

This project is integrated in #SuperLabPorts, a space of international projection designed and intended for innovation and entrepreneurship in the maritime and port sector on climate change, promoted by the PAV, Fundación Valenciaport and EIT Climate-KIC (the Climate Change Innovation Center)-which has been launched by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology-, whose main mission is to enhance the development of a low carbon economy with the aim of facilitating actions to adapt and mitigate climate change.

Horchata to enjoy the views

During the presentation, and as a detail to those present, this solar pavement, installed on the balcony of the north dock of the extension, has supplied energy to a mobile service of horchata Denominación de Origen Chufa de València (Denomination of Origin Tigernut of Valencia), as an example of what the plates can produce on a small scale. The installation has been placed next to the solar panels, on top of which the event has been held, on the balcony of the north dock that allows to see the north and south beaches and the whole port area.

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