One of the largest warehouses in Catalonia, the Decathlon warehouse in the ZAL Port, which occupies part of the land of the former Seat factory in the Free Trade Zone, has begun to install solar panels on its roof. There will be almost 20,000 panels – 19,846 to be exact – that will be placed on an area of 91,692 square meters, more or less the size of 15 football fields. This set will add a peak power of 8.2 MWp and an estimated production of 9,862.65 MWh/year, equivalent to the consumption of 8,493 people. This is the first phase of a wide-ranging project that will be deployed by CILSA, manager of the ZAL Port, which will be followed by others with properties in this area until reaching 40 MWp in 2026, which will be, the aforementioned company assures, the largest rooftop photovoltaic park in Europe.
The installation of the Decathlon platform, which is expected to be ready between next March and April, requires an investment by CILSA of 6 million euros. The ZAL Port warehouses have already been identified, a facility that totals around one million square meters for logistics activity, which will follow the same path. There are 450,000 m2 that could support electricity production infrastructure of this type. They will be added as the aforementioned company closes agreements with clients, whether they are the tenants of the properties themselves or other nearby ones. It will begin on the grounds of El Prat and continue on to those of Barcelona. As it is a shared self-consumption project, it can supply consumers up to two kilometers away from the generation site.
The complete ZAL Port photovoltaic park, which can receive a total investment of 24 million, will be capable of producing all the electricity that this logistics area needs and even more, and can also supply other users in the port community. The set of facilities will generate 50,000 MWh/year, the electrical energy consumed by a city of 41,250 inhabitants; to get an idea, approximately like Vilafranca del Penedès, Igualada or Blanes. The savings in CO2 emissions are also notable. Only the first phase, the Decathlon warehouse, will avoid 2,465 tons per year, the equivalent of 725 cars traveling 12,000 kilometers per year in urban areas.
The president of the Port of Barcelona and CILSA, Lluís Salvadó, highlighted this Thursday the importance of this project within the framework of the decarbonization strategy of the port area. "We are the economic infrastructure in the country that makes the most efforts and investment to reduce emissions," he assured, "betting on both the production of photovoltaic energy and the electrification of docks or the development of fuels such as LNG."
This project is also key to the objectives of the Port's private partner in CILSA, Merlin Properties, which has 49% of the capital. Luis Lázaro, director of Retail and Logistics of the real estate company, recalled that this was a pioneer in the installation of photovoltaic panels in warehouses and the action has already begun in the ZAL Port, it is an important step to be the leading producer for self-consumption in the sector in the Iberian Peninsula.
In addition to this renewable energy production project, the port of Barcelona is deploying an ambitious plan worth 160 million until 2030 to supply electricity to the ships that moor at the docks so that they can stop burning polluting fuels. The cornerstone is a large substation, in turn connected to another one that Red Eléctrica de España (REE) is building. In parallel, a medium voltage network will be installed that will reach the different port terminals, also including the undersea connection between the Energia and Adossat docks, thus bringing the plugs also to the cruise area, where thanks to the OPS (Onshore Power Supply) up to six vessels will be able to connect simultaneously and turn off the engines.