Lubricants major Shell on Monday said it is installing solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of seven of its plants in India, China, Italy, Singapore and Switzerland, which would generate 7,500 MWh of power annually.
The panels can result in the avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions of about 4,500 tonne on a CO2-equivalent basis per year, equivalent to taking about 2,600 cars off the road for one year, a statement by the company said.
Combined, they are expected to generate over 7,500 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity a year, it added.
In India, it said, the panels will be installed at the company’s lubricants plant in Taloja, Maharashtra.
Shell will work with Cleantech Solar for the installation of about 1,700 panels, which is expected to generate 683 MWh of electricity annually, and can result in the avoidance of 500 tonne of annual GHG emissions.
As for the funding model for the Taloja solar panels, Shell has signed a subsidy-free purchase power agreement with Cleantech Solar. As part of the agreement, Cleantech Solar will design, build, finance, own, operate, and maintain the solar facility for the Taloja plant in India.
Shell acquired a 49 per cent equity stake in Cleantech Solar, a developer, owner, and operator of commercial and industrial solar energy systems in Southeast Asia and India.
“Using solar energy to help power our lubricant plants enables us to reduce the carbon intensity in our lubricants supply chain,” said Richard Jory, Shell’s vice-president, Lubricants Supply Chain.
Jory further said, “Every industry has to do its part in developing cleaner ways of working and this is part of our commitment to run a safe, efficient, responsible and profitable business.”
The solar energy generated will be used to help power operations at these lubricant plants, lowering operating costs in the long run and reducing reliance on the grid. All panels will be installed by the end of 2019. Shell is looking to expand the use of solar panels in other lubricant plants around the world.
Other examples of Shell’s work to make its lubricants business less carbon-intensive include improving the energy efficiency of its lubricant plants, and working to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging across the lubricant supply chain, it added.