Reaping the benefits of solar: photovoltaic power plant

Project Description

The business model of the Navigator Company (NVG) is based on sustainable and certified management of forests, reconciling environmental, social and economic concerns.

Investment in low-carbon solutions allowed NVG to achieve an important milestone: In 2016, approximately 70% of NVG’s total primary energy consumption was obtained from renewable sources. The measures we adopted have reduced the company’s energy dependency.

In 2016 the company announced a medium-term Energy Efficiency Corporative Programme, based on seven strategic vectors: Energy Management System (ISO 50001), renewable energy, energy efficiency for lighting, behaviour changes, industrial processes, electric mobility and energy management information systems. NVG’s long-term objective is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and energy consumption in the production of pulp and paper.

Project Purpose

NVG’s business model is by nature based on a low-carbon economy, in view of its consistent investment in technologies that use renewable energy sources and its commitment to sustainable forestry management.

As part of its corporate energy programme, NVG decided to invest in a solar photovoltaic power plant, further decarbonising the economy. This solar plant covers 13,000 square metres, on the roof of the paper plant in Setúbal, and supplies some of the electricity needed to power the 500,000 t/y mill. The facility began operations in June 2016.

Project Evaluation

The solar panels will generate approximately 3.1 GWh/year of electricity, or the average consumption of 850 Portuguese households. At the same time, the solar plant will avoid 1,140 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Portugal is one of the European countries with the most hours of sunlight per day, making the investment even more attractive. Since the solar panels are on the roof, they reap the potential of an otherwise unused space. NVG is analysing opportunities to implement similar projects in other locations.

Frederico Pisco

Corporate Energy Manager

“It is essential for the company to look at every opportunity to produce renewable energy and promote energy efficiency. The technical and economic feasibility of the project, combined with the excellent solar conditions in the region where the paper mill is located, led Navigator to innovate how it generates its power, in another major step for its corporate strategy of promoting energy efficiency.

Solar energy is today a mature technology, and in recent years the investment costs have come down significantly, whilst efficiency has improved. This means that solar power is now able to address the company’s technical and economic concerns and sustainability needs.”

Main Features:

CO2 Emissions saved (tCO2)

1,140 t CO2 / year


€2.1 million

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