Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, officially opened the country's first innovative geothermal energy system in a new type of industrial enterprise. The system serves the certified Smart Factory of Schneider Electric in Plovdiv, which thus becomes completely independent of natural gas.
The main contractor of the innovative geothermal system is the Bulgarian company ReEnergy Engineering. Earlier this year, the new extension of Schneider Electric's Smart Factory in Plovdiv was put into operation, with the construction of which was synchronized with the construction of the geothermal system.
"Schneider Electric is a pioneer in what we call a double transition - digital and green. It is a company with an international scale and ambitions that increases the opportunity to work with universities and with the latest technological and energy solutions. A great company that has stirred up an ecosystem of its own and raised the general standard. I am very glad that the high ambitions of Schneider Electric are being carried here, in the city of Plovdiv, and among the local communities. These are the places in Bulgaria recognized for the best investments, because the local government works hand in hand with business. Sincere congratulations and respect for Schneider Electric", Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Angelina Boneva said during the ceremony.
"As a local business organization, we are extremely happy that the company has sustainable investment intentions in Bulgaria. The expansion of the factory, which was put into operation recently, is another step in this direction, which, I believe, will not be the last. The same is true of the geothermal system we find today. Projects of this nature are key to the creation and development of technological competences in our country and will be extremely important in the future," shared Ivelina Nikolova, Schneider Electric's general manager for Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo.
As a representative of the local authority, the Deputy Mayor "Ecology and Health" of the city of Plovdiv Ivan Stoyanov expressed his satisfaction that he attended an event with a contribution to ecology.
"I am glad that local business and business in general are helping the municipalities and the administration to introduce such successful models together. We have a lot to learn from you and will be helpful in any way we can. In the face of the Plovdiv municipality, you have a partner and a friend," shared Mr. Stoyanov.
In response to Schneider Electric's ambitious global goals, the innovative geothermal heating and cooling system is built with "dry" closed-type boreholes, i.e. a fluid circulates in it, which is heated by the natural temperature of the earth. Heat pump units produce hot water for heating in winter and hot water for domestic needs all year round. In transitional seasons, heat pump units provide passive cooling, and on the hottest days, cooling is active using the refrigeration cycle. With active cooling, the "free" heat of condensation can be directed to the production of domestic hot water. In this way, over 70% savings in electrical energy for heating and cooling the plant can be achieved. The main advantages of the closed type of system are the utilization of inexhaustible energy from the earth and the reduction of the consumption of electrical energy. At the same time, the system does not use underground water resources.
"The new geothermal system means the complete elimination of the use of natural gas. For Schneider Electric, this is a long-term strategic intent linked to our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality. Energy management together with sustainable development is the essence of our business and our competence," shared Martin Yordanov, director of Schneider Electric's Smart Factory in Plovdiv. "That's why being a pioneer in building this type of system in the industry is a natural role for us as a company," he added.
In early 2021, Schneider Electric announced its six official commitments to accelerate sustainable development tied to the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The company's decarbonization plan includes carbon-neutral operations by 2025, a carbon-neutral overall environmental footprint in 2040 and a net-zero carbon supply chain in 2050.
"Mission is possible! Today, Bulgaria is not only catching up with Europe or the rest of the world, it is already a leader in the application of modern and contemporary technologies," said Plamen Panchev, executive director and founder of TEZ. He ended his remarks with a quote from the vice president of the European Commission, who during the opening of the Bulgarian pavilion in Dubai announced that the Thrace Economic Zone is one of the best examples in Europe of implementing and implementing a carbon neutrality project. "This is possible because we have partners like Schneider Electric, who not only talk, but also implement all this," added Panchev.
Schneider Electric's geothermal system will contribute not only to improving energy efficiency, but also to combating climate change. The addition of renewable energy sources, joined using appropriate digital solutions, is an approach that helps reduce the negative impacts of human activity on the environment.
Representatives of the national and local authorities were present at the opening ceremony of the facility, including: Angelina Boneva, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, Ivan Stoyanov, Deputy Mayor for Ecology and Health of the city of Plovdiv, Dimitar Ivanov, Mayor of municipality of Maritsa, Yordan Dashev, mayor of the village of Radinovo, and Plamen Panchev, executive director and founder of the Trakia Economic Zone (TEZ).
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