SPAIN- Brewer of popular Amstel and Heineken beer brands, Heineken and French energy solutions provider Engie are working together to construct a mega solar plant in Serville.

The plant, to be constructed at a cost of €21m (US$22.2m), is reported to be Spain’s first industrial solar thermal plant and the largest of all in Europe.

Heineken revealed this new investment in October at an event attended by the acting president of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez.

The event was also attended by an acting head of the executive, accompanied by the Government delegate in Andalusia, Pedro Fernández Peñalver.

Heineken also revealed that the plant had received a €13.3 m(US$13.9m) grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the IDAE (Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving).

According to the company, the new 30MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant will have a 68MWh storage capacity covering eight hectares.

With the CSP, the owner of Spain’s beloved beer Cruzcampo, anticipates to double the production of superheated water at its Seville brewery.

With the new plant in place, the company is expected to cut its gas consumption by more than 60% and reduce its carbon footprint by close to 7,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

 “At Heineken, we were pioneers in introducing sustainability in the brewing sector more than two decades ago,” said Etienne Strijp, President of Heineken Spain.

And today we are again, with the help of Engie, with a totally innovative project that positions Spain in a prominent place in the transition to renewable energies.”

The establishment of the solar plant comes at a time when the government has committed to the decarbonization of the economy by promoting renewable energies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Heineken is at the forefront of this strategy to make the economy greener with its Serville factory expected to meet 84% renewable energy.

In line with European decarbonization targets, Heineken is committed to becoming the first Spanish brewery with zero net emissions by 2025 and expects to be halfway there by the end of 2023.

Apart from the new CSP plant, the company has invested in similar projects at its other breweries in Seville and Valencia.

As part of its net zero goal, Heineken is also working with Fertiberia to support Spanish farmers’ transition to low-carbon cultivation of malting barley.

The alliance between the two companies has made it possible to use the first low-carbon, Impact Zero fertilisers produced with green hydrogen to replace natural gas.

In addition to reducing the carbon footprint of each ton of barley by 62%, Heineken says the farmers participating in this pilot project have seen their production increase, harvesting 900 kg more per hectare to a total of 2400 kg.

Following these results, the two companies are already working on the next phases of the agreement to significantly expand its use to more barley crops.