Decathlon generates green electricity for logistics centre

Schwetzingen. Since July, the 40,000 square metre logistics centre of the sporting goods manufacturer Decathlon in Schwetzingen has been operated with regenerative electricity from the roof of the building. Around 750,000 kilowatt hours per year are produced here. The sports expert uses these to process deliveries as quickly as possible and to operate the adjacent branch.

“We use the energy we generate ourselves for our semi-automated high-bay warehouses, PC workstations, lighting and to recharge our electric forklift trucks,” summarises project manager Recep Sari. Decathlon’s largest logistics centre in Germany employs 750 people. They serve the logistics of the entire product range, around 35,000 different articles for almost 100 sports. The majority of the 52 stores in Germany as well as several stores in the Netherlands and Switzerland are supplied from here. In addition, all German online customers also receive their packages from Schwetzingen.

Decathlon consumes about 350,000 kilowatt hours of the generated electricity itself. The remaining 400,000 kilowatt hours are fed into the public grid. An average of 11 cents per unit will be paid by the supplier for the next 20 years. “Such systems are definitely economically worthwhile for the customer,” says Björn Lamprecht, who implemented the project with his Goldbeck Solar team. The payback period is between six and ten years, after which the roof system only makes a profit. Lamprecht: “It’s also nice that the owners of a PV system make themselves independent of the energy suppliers’ offers. A further criterion for Decathlon and others to choose a solar power plant is the ability to plan electricity costs. The solar company covers around 40 solar roofs per year in Germany. The electricity generated here costs between four and eight cents. In contrast to the often 18 cents that are due from the electricity supplier. The CO2 balance is also positive because it is negative: 437 tonnes of carbon dioxide are saved every year.

Sustainability is part of Decathlon’s corporate philosophy: “Various building blocks make up our responsibility. The protection of the environment is part of this. It was only a matter of time before we also tackled the issue of solar energy,” Sari states. The sports experts let actions speak instead of words as early as 2012. A PV system was already taken into account in the planning for the new construction of the modern logistics hall. Statics and wind loads were no problem in 2018. “This is the ideal case”, Lamprecht is pleased to say. Building owners should set up their industrial and logistics buildings as future-proof and flexible as possible,” advises the managing director and head of 90 employees.



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