ABB touts Mission Zero Carbon Reduction & Energy Efficiency work at Italian Switchgear Plant

May 4, 2022
ABB fitted three buildings at the factory with 4,000 square meters of solar photovoltaic panels. Outdoor lighting at the factory has been updated with LED lamps, which alone can reduce consumption by 76,000 kWh per year

An ABB circuit breaker and switchgear manufacturing plant in Italy has invested in energy efficiency, digitalization and clean energy to support the company’s goal of Mission to Zero.

The 45,000-square-meter  Dalmine facility has been retrofitted over the last two years to reduce its carbon emissions output by 25 percent. The ABB Dalmine plant also is getting all of its energy needs by renewable resources and certified offsets.

The success of the retrofits can help prove that achieving completely “green factories” in Europe doesn’t have to be new construction, the company noted.

"Our customers want to make their supply chains cleaner and greener and are increasingly looking to us for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Dalmine creates a blueprint for customers to replicate,” Alessandro Palin, president of ABB Distribution Solutions, said in a statement. “At ABB we want to collaborate with our customers to reduce their annual CO2 emissions by more than 100 mega tons by 2030: almost as much as if 30 million combustion cars disappeared from our planet. By reducing carbon emissions and eliminating waste throughout our supply chain, we will support customers to realize their own sustainability ambitions.

The Dalmine manufacturing plant was built in 1979, a time when thoughts of climate change were barely registering in the public eye. Over time, it has shifted energy supply to renewables certified by Italian utility and developer Enel Green Power.

To solidify its environmental aims, ABB fitted three buildings at the factory with 4,000 square meters of solar photovoltaic panels. Those panels can generate peak power of 900 kW, proving close to 20 percent of the Dalmine factory energy needs.

ABB’s Ability Energy and Asset Manager tools monitor energy consumption to identify inefficiencies and point toward energy saving opportunities. Outdoor lighting at the factory has been updated with LED lamps, which alone can reduce consumption by 76,000 kWh per year.

That saved energy is enough to recharging the Dalmine plant’s growing fleet of electric vehicles.

Mission to Zero is part of ABB's journey toward carbon neutrality by 2030. In addition to the energy improvements at the Dalmine switchgear and circuit breaker plant, the company completed its first new carbon-neutral production site at the Busch-Jaeger facility in Luedenscheid, Germany, in 2019.

The German plan features solar power with close to 1,100 MWh output pear year. The renewable resource reduces CO2 emissions by 630 tons annually, according to the company.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 14-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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