Varo Energy plans 7.7 MW solar park to power Swiss refinery

Solar panels installed at a mountain hut in Lenzerheide. Author: SteFou!. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

January 17 (Renewables Now) - Oil refiner and supplier Varo Energy Group and renewable energy company Groupe E are planning to build a 7.7-MW solar park to power Switzerland's only operating refinery in the west of the Alpine country.

The solar farm will be located east of the refinery in the municipality of Cressier, the canton of Neuchatel, on an area of 45,000 sq m (11.12 acres) and will feature 19,000 static panels, Varo Energy said last week.

Once up and running in November 2022, the park is expected to generate annually about 8.4 GWh of green electricity that will be fed directly into the refinery's grid and will be enough to meet over 60% of the facility's energy needs at full power.

The project will cost CHF 6.5 million (USD 7.1m/EUR 6.2m).

"This project in Cressier is an important step in Varo’s strategy to create sustainable energy options for its existing assets and to drive value," said Varo Energy's chief executive Dev Sanyal.

Based in Cham, Switzerland, Varo Energy produces various oil products and provides refining, storage and distribution services. It is the sole owner and operator of the Cressier refinery which has a capacity of 68,000 barrels of refined products per day and produces about 25% of all refined products sold in the country. The company owns also a 51.4% share in the Bayernoil refinery in Germany with an output of 108,000 barrels per day.

(CHF 1 = USD 1.098/EUR 0.959)

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