13 Jan 20

ABB’s Mission to Zero; a vision for sustainable society

At its site in Luedenscheid, Germany, ABB has created a blueprint for the future of sustainable cities and industry with its first carbon-neutral and energy self-sufficient production site, writes Tarak Mehta, president of ABB’s Electrification business.

After a two-year design and construction phase, and as part of our “Mission to Zero” sustainability initiative, last year we were proud to unveil our first CO2-neutral and energy self-sufficient production site in Germany.
Thanks to our technology installed at the Luedenscheid plant of our Busch-Jaeger subsidiary, enough sustainable power is generated there on sunny days to meet 100 per cent of the factories’ needs.

The solution is much broader than a simple solar installation; it is a state-of-the-art integrated solution that covers all aspects of renewable energy production and distribution. 

Today more than half of ABB's worldwide revenues are generated by technologies such as these, that are helping to combat the causes of climate change. Our goal is to increase this contribution further from 57 per cent in 2018 to 60 per cent by 2020.

Luedenscheid serves as a showcase for the advantages of an intelligent energy ecosystem in which all the components are digitally networked and controllable. Together, they enhance energy efficiency, sustainability and resource conservation, to enable a genuine zero-emission future for industry and beyond. 

The photovoltaic system covers 3500 square metres and is installed over the site’s car parks. It can deliver around 1100 MWh of climate-neutral solar power a year – roughly enough to supply 340 private homes. 
In combination with a cogeneration plant, which is twice as efficient as a coal-fired power plant, Luedenscheid is capable of generating around 14 per cent more energy than it needs. This surplus power is fed into the public grid, to contribute to the region’s power supply with sustainably produced energy. 

The technological centrepiece of the Luedenscheid system is OPTIMAX®, our scalable energy management system. OPTIMAX® allows constant surveillance and optimum control of energy production, consumption and storage, while operating largely autonomously.

Other digitally interconnected ABB technologies are integrated into the Luedenscheid site, such as a battery energy storage system (BESS) and charging points, where staff and visitors can charge their electric vehicles free of charge. Overall, our flagship site will save about 630 tonnes of CO2 a year.
It’s a shining example of a sustainable future and I’m delighted that it has already attracted high attention from our customers worldwide who are keen to join us on our Mission to Zero. 

Learn more about the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and its partners' sustainability programme