29. 11. 2022

Photovoltaic technology the size of a football field going up in the centre of Prague: 2080 panels will cover 10% of the Prague Congress Centre's consumption and save CZK 5.5 million per year

The construction of the largest photovoltaic power plant in the centre of Prague has begun at the Prague Congress Centre (KCP). A total of 2080 solar panels will be erected on an area of 7000 square metres, saving the Prague Congress Centre CZK 5.5 million in electricity costs annually. Photovoltaic technology will complement one of the largest energy saving projects in the Czech Republic, which is being implemented at the KCP by ENESA, a subsidiary of ČEZ ESCO. The project has saved the centre CZK 32 million this year.

The shareholders of the Prague Congress Centre are the Ministry of Finance of the Czech Republic and the City of Prague. "I am glad that the KCP, as a publicly owned company, is leading by example. Energy savings and new renewable sources are exactly what we need in the current situation to reduce energy costs and increase our energy self-sufficiency and independence from Russian energy," said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala during his visit to the Prague Congress Centre.

"We have recently observed a clear trend in Czech companies and public institutions: reducing energy costs goes hand in hand with consistent decarbonisation and efforts to operate more sustainably. Our task at ČEZ is to facilitate this as much as possible. The largest photovoltaic system in the centre of Prague will complement one of the largest energy saving projects in the Czech Republic and will increase the savings of the Prague Congress Centre by more than 5 million annually," added Daniel Beneš, CEO of ČEZ.

The construction of the photovoltaic power plant, in which ČEZ ESCO and GreenBuddies are also involved, was launched during the Czech Presidency of the European Union, during which KCP plays an important role as the venue for informal meetings of the EU Council.

"We already considered a photovoltaic power plant on the roof of the KCP several years ago. Even though we have a very good price for electricity until the end of the year, events on the energy market have forced us to accelerate this project and we have decided to commence installation during the Czech Presidency. Photovoltaic technology covers about ten percent of the KCP's energy consumption, and it is directly linked to a comprehensive energy-saving project that has been running for six years and saves us more than CZK 30 million annually," explained Aleš Bartůněk, Chairman of the Board of the KCP.

Photovoltaic technology for 1 CZK

The KCP will make use of ČEZ ESCO's innovative model called "Photovoltaic technology for 1 CZK". The KCP will thus acquire the power plant with an installed capacity of 936 kWp without any investment costs. The costs of the project are borne by the supplier ČEZ ESCO, which will build and subsequently operate the photovoltaic system for the customer. The KCP will repay the investment in the price of the electricity consumed. At the end of the 13-year contract, the Prague Congress Centre will buy the PV plant for just one crown and will continue to generate its own energy.

Building a photovoltaic power plant in the centre of Prague and with dimensions larger than a football field is not a simple matter. For example, the designers had to prove by tests on a sample of panels placed on the roof that the sun's rays falling on their surface would not dazzle not only the surrounding area, but also, for example, visitors to the Petřín lookout tower several kilometres away. Despite these obstacles, the pace of installation is fast – just over half a year separates the commencement of design preparations and the placement of the last panel.

The EPC project in Prague Congress Centre

The KCP management has been trying to reduce the energy consumption of the building since 2016, when a technologically-unique energy-saving project was provided using the EPC method, which is implemented for the KCP by ENESA from the ČEZ ESCO group. EPC means that the supplier directly guarantees the amount of savings in the contract.

Thanks to the modernisation of heating, air conditioning, lighting and cogeneration at a cost of 135 million crowns, it has managed to reduce energy costs by 50 million crowns this year alone, converted to the current high prices. The total guaranteed savings over the 10 years of the project's existence will reach at least CZK 235 million and reduce consumption by 30 percent.

"The EPC project in the Prague Congress Centre is a champion in the field of technological interconnection, where the synergy between heating and air conditioning is used to the maximum extent possible. Thanks to the sophisticated technical design, it is 100% true that the cheapest energy is that which is not consumed. Photovoltaic technology on the roof will make the operation of the building even cheaper and will also reduce the carbon footprint of the building," explained Kamil Čermák, CEO of ČEZ ESCO.

"Here, in one of the largest rooftop installations in the Czech Republic, we are applying our extensive experience from similar rooftop and ground-mounted power plant projects at home and abroad. We use SolarEdge inverters that minimize voltage during a fault, and in line with modern trends, we also use roof structures that are not fixed by drilling into the roof, but only by loading," concludes Aleš Spáčil, Sales Director of Greenbuddies, the company that deals with the installation of photovoltaic technology.

The power plant is expected to commence operation as early as next spring.

The Prague Congress Centre (KCP) is one of the largest congress centres in the Czech Republic, offering 70 halls and lounges for events ranging from small conferences to large congresses, including equipment of the highest technical level. Its advantage is excellent transport accessibility to the nearby city centre, thanks to which it has a beautiful view of historic Prague. It also includes the Vyšehrad Business Centre and the four-star Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre hotel with a capacity of 254 rooms. The KCP has won the prestigious Superbrands award several times in a row and the ECO Gold certificate for using energy from renewable sources. More at www.praguecc.cz

ČEZ ESCO (Energy Service Company) is a subsidiary of ČEZ that focuses on services related to modern energy, decarbonisation and reducing the climate footprint for industrial customers, municipalities and institutions. These include energy audits and energy consulting, the construction and operation of cogeneration units, implementation of metering systems, renovation of heating systems and installation of photovoltaic power plants. ČEZ ESCO is also a supplier of services related to public and corporate electromobility. It also provides electricity, gas and heat supply, electricity purchase, trading with emission allowances, the operation of energy facilities and their servicing. It has about 2000 employees. In addition to ČEZ Energetické služby, ČEZ ESCO's subsidiaries include AirPlus, AZ KLIMA, Bytkomfort, CAPEXUS, ESCO Distribúčné sústavy, ČEZ Energetické služby, ČEZ ENERGO, ČEZ LDS, Domat Control System, E-Dome, EP Rožnov, ENESA, ESCO SLOVAKIA, Green energy capital, HORMEN, KART, KLF-Distribúcia and Spravbytkomfort. More at www.cezesco.cz.