With the support of Lotus F1, team partner Wallenborn and Jerome D’Ambrosio personal sponsor Soleco have agreed on a deal that will construct a megawatt of solar power at the Wallenborn campus in Luxembourg. The solar array, which is to be installed and managed by Dutch-based Soleco, will be the first of its size in the country and the largest undertaking by Soleco since its inception. This partnership is a prime example of the networking and business opportunities that can be afforded to such companies who are involved in F1. The deal was even struck at the Belgian Grand Prix during the first weekend of September.
According to Wallenborn CEO Franz Wallenborn, the entire array “will be installed on the roofs of [their] high security logistics warehouse.” To put into perspective how much power 1 megawatt really is, Wallenborn’s net electricity usage could actually be negative during months of maximum solar intensity (depending on the size and power demands of the facilities). Or put another way, Wallenborn could potentially “sell” unused electric power back to the utility company during times solar generation exceeds demand - resulting in huge savings in operating costs for the company.
As a power engineer by day, it excites me that industry and private citizens alike are taking action to offset their electric power usage. I believe a diverse mix of green energy solutions – not just solar – is the best overall solution to a future of sustainable energy consumption. Kind of like how KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) onboard today’s F1 cars supplement the gasoline-powered engines by providing an extra 80 HP boost. With Lotus F1’s support of the Wallenborn solar project, perhaps we will see other renewable and sustainable solutions to make F1 engines even more efficient?