RS Components is prioritising sustainability in a €65 million expansion of its distribution centre (DC) in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.
The installation of a major solar energy system on the roof of the new 9,000 m² building, which is due for completion in August 2021, is capable of generating 750 kWh of photovoltaic (PV) capacity daily to convert solar radiation directly into electricity, providing energy to the RS site and feeding power into the grid.
Since the first PV panels were put in place at the end of July, the site at Bad Hersfeld, which will become the largest of the company’s 12 global DCs once the expansion has been completed, has resulted in significant solar energy production levels.
In August 2020, for example, the first full month after the system was commissioned, when sunshine hours were at a peak, solar cell production generated more than 25% of the extended site’s entire energy consumption.
Debbie Lentz, President Supply Chain at Electrocomponents, commented: “This investment in solar energy is an important step towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. On many days of the year, we can now be entirely energy self-sufficient at our Bad Hersfeld DC, utilising a 100% clean, renewable energy source.”
In addition to generating sustainable energy to power the RS site, the solar cells have been connected to the power grid since November via a local electricity provider for the feed-in of surplus energy.
“I am delighted that we are using the latest technology in every area of the project,” added Lentz. “In the case of photovoltaics in particular, it is clear how the most modern solutions not only benefit us as the operator of the DC but also create a very practical connection between ecology and economy. The times when economic requirements and those of the environment were often irreconcilable are over, thanks to technical innovation.”
The expansion of the RS Bad Hersfeld DC will almost double the existing warehouse space at the site, with capacity to stock more than 500,000 products at this location alone. This will result in even faster delivery times to customers across the EMEA region and provide enhanced supply chain reliability.