With participants from over 180 countries, the ENERGY GLOBE is the most prestigious award in the field of environmental protection today. Global Sustainability Winners compete in five categories: Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Youth and an annual special category. Since 2000, more than 30,000 projects have applied with their sustainable energy-efficient solutions to reduce harmful emissions.

Energy Agency of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, participated in the prestigious international competition (category Fire) with the successfully completed POWERTY project (INTEREG EUROPE), within which rooftop photovoltaic installations and energy storage systems were installed in three social buildings in Plovdiv - permanent homes for children with disabilities.

The roof installations consist of photovoltaic modules, hybrid inverters, battery storage modules, smart meters and monitoring systems. Two of the buildings have installed power of 10kWp and battery capacity of 34kWh and the third building has installed power of 5.8kWp and battery capacity of 12kWh. The total estimated power generation for the first two buildings is around 14MWh per year and 8.6MWh per year for the third one. All three buildings present excess production of around 2.5MWh per year for each one of them which is an additional benefit as the excess energy will be fed to the grid. The investment for the three systems is 55 000 euros and the estimated payback period is around 7 years.

The new technologies play an important role in the installed systems - on the one hand, there are smart meters that provide information in real-time, and on the other - a cloud system allows all data from the system to be monitored and recorded, including generation, storage and the consumption of the solar energy produced. The collected information helps to improve energy consumption and to introduce additional energy efficiency measures.

This is a shining example of a good practice for introducing a self-consumption model providing a viable solution for social buildings to achieve a significant share of renewable generation that can be self-consumed and thus decrease their electricity bills and contribute to the decarbonization of the city’s energy system.

Source: Energy Agency of Plovdiv