More renewables in our energy mix
For many years, 3B has been working to make its business as sustainable as possible, in particular by carrying out projects to limit its environmental footprint. One of the key elements is of course energy consumption, of which electricity has the greatest impact. So this is a parameter we are focusing on. To reduce our consumption, we are constantly working to optimise our manufacturing processes and the technologies used. The evolution of energy sources is the other major axis: 3B wants to switch to renewable energy sources and reduce the use of fossil energy in the future.
In Battice (Belgium), several projects have been launched with this objective of using more renewable energy sources, in line with the European Green Deal and the Walloon Plan 2030 for Climate and Energy:
- co-generation units to produce pre-heated air and electricity for our equipment
- installation of photovoltaic panels
- installation of a wind turbine.
A wind turbine for 3B in Battice
The project to set up a wind turbine in Battice is in line with 3B's sustainable development policy, and more specifically with its action plan to limit global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"Installing a wind turbine near the plant is not a new idea at 3B. It is a long envisaged solution to reduce our carbon footprint, which we see as part of our corporate responsibility to the community. In addition, we are very active in the wind energy market, since our glass fibre is used in the manufacture of wind turbine blades, among other things. We have therefore long been aware of the benefits of using wind turbines for cleaner electricity production. And today it is clear that we cannot continue to rely solely on fossil energy sources. From an environmental as well as financial point of view, this is not sustainable for the future. Our plant needs a significant input of electricity, one of the three sources of energy used to bring our glass furnaces up to the very high temperatures needed to bring the glass to melt in order to produce glass fibre".
Pierre-David PETITJEAN, Director of the 3B plant in Battice (Belgium)
Location of the wind turbine
The project for the installation of a wind turbine in Battice is located at "Aux Haies", on land owned by 3B, close to our plant. The site, which complies very well with the Grouping Principle described in the Walloon Territorial Development Code, was selected because of:
- its excellent wind potential
- its proximity to the plant, which will directly consume most of the wind turbine's production
- its proximity to the high-voltage line
- its proximity to the economic activity zone.
The location of the wind turbine meets the criteria of the Reference Framework for wind turbines in Wallonia (at 400 m or more from isolated houses, distance of 4 times the total height of the wind turbine from residential areas, i.e. more than 720 m in this case).
Characteristics of the wind turbine
180 m at the tip of the blade
A capacity of 2.2 to 2.99 MW
Producing 6 to 7.5 GWh/year
Do you have questions?
You can either go through our questions & answers provided below, or get in touch with the 3B project team using the Contact form or the phone number provided at the bottom of the page.
How can you get full information about the project?
The complete file including the impact study will be available from the municipal administration of Herve during the public inquiry.
Which company will install and operate the wind turbine?
After reviewing several proposals, we selected Luminus.
What are the milestones between now and the production of the first MWh?
Here are the different milestones:
1° Preliminary study: search for a suitable location. Different criteria are taken into account (wind potential, grid connection, regulatory context, protected areas, etc. ).
2° Surface area contract: obtaining the necessary rights to use the plots of land.
3° Feasibility study: modelling makes it possible to define the project in a more concrete way: type of wind turbine, construction method, etc. Studies on noise impact and stroboscopic effects. Prior information provided to the authorities. Obtaining preliminary assessment from the main operators (electricity, gas, aeronautics, radio and television, etc.).
4° Preparation and submission of an authorisation file: application for a class 2 permit (wind turbine of less than 3 MW) to the Walloon authorities. This is were we are now.
5° Order placement, production and delivery of the wind turbine by the manufacturer.
6° Construction of the wind turbine: building of the temporary access roads (construction site), connection to the existing 3B cabin, foundations of the wind turbine, construction of the platform, erection of the wind turbine, restoration of the access roads to pre-project state.
The provisional schedule foresees the commissioning of the wind turbine at the beginning of 2022.
What type of permit is required?
A Class 2 permit is required.
How can the wind turbine co-exist with farming?
A wind turbine does not require a large surface area. The plots around it can continue to be used by farmers. In the present case, we make sure to have an open dialogue with the people potentially involved.
What guarantees are there for the safety around the wind turbine?
First of all, the wind turbine that we plan to install is certified according to the current international IEC standard. It is equipped with an ice detection system, lightning protection, a double braking system (aerodynamic and mechanical) and an online control system. The wind turbine is continuously monitored from the Luminus control room. The wind turbine is equipped with a number of sensors to detect anomalies in good time. If a problem is suspected or detected, the wind turbine is stopped. Luminus intervention teams can be dispatched quickly to the site. In addition, the wind turbine is maintained regularly and a maintenance contract with the manufacturer ensures its good operating condition and performance, in particular by providing high-quality preventive maintenance. It is important to know that the Walloon government imposes a strict safety framework for wind turbines. An accredited safety expert tests and determines all possible scenarios, similarly to the approach used in a SEVESO company.
Does a wind turbine cause a cast shadow?
When the sun shines bright enough, a wind turbine casts a shadow on the ground. When the blades rotate, the shadow moves: there is therefore a cast shadow. That is why, in Wallonia, a house is allowed to be exposed to cast shadow from the wind turbine for a maximum of 30 minutes a day, with a maximum of 30 hours a year. Various scenarios have been examined for this project: although the risk of exceeding the standards is very limited, the wind turbine will be equipped with a shutdown device if an overshoot is detected.
Does a wind turbine make noise?
All wind turbines generate sound which is essentially linked to the movement of the blades, generally covered by the general sound environment of the site (wind noise in the trees, traffic...). But today's wind turbines are very well soundproofed, have large blades that spin slower and whose very design limits aerodynamic noise. Moreover, legal standards drastically limit the authorised noise level. The Walloon standards are among the strictest (see Reference framework for wind turbines in Wallonia: i.e. 45 db(A) in the daytime period from 7am to 7pm, 45 db(A) in the transition period from 6am to 7am and from 7pm to 10pm and 40 dB(A) in the night period from 10 pm to 6 am in summer night conditions, 43 dB(A) in the night period from 10 pm to 6 am outside summer night conditions). This aspect has of course been carefully studied when preparing this project. Acoustic monitoring is also compulsory to check that the installation complies with current standards once it is up and running.
What impact does the wind turbine have on local wildlife?
The impact on different bird and bat species has been studied by an independent body as part of the impact study. The wind turbine will be stopped at certain times of the year so as not to disturb the different species of bats. As regards bats and local bird species, the project includes the installation of a zone of hedges and flowerbeds at a distance from the wind turbine, which will strengthen local biodiversity.
Is the CO2 balance of a wind turbine truly positive?
A wind turbine produces green energy that does not emit CO2. The amount of energy produced avoids the CO2 emissions that would have been generated by the use of polluting sources, i.e. about 2260 tonnes of CO2 per year. In addition, the foreseen wind turbine will offset its energy debt (the amount of CO2 produced during its construction) in six months.
How does the local community benefit from the presence of a wind turbine?
First of all, the production of green energy reduces the production of CO2, which has a positive impact on climate change in particular. The presence of a wind turbine on a territory shows the willingness of its inhabitants and authorities to contribute to the global effort needed to protect our environment and limit global warming. In addition, the municipality levies an annual wind turbine tax, which has a positive impact on all its citizens. Finally, everyone has the opportunity to invest in wind power, for example by becoming a shareholder in a renewable projects cooperative, which generally offers a good return and mutualises the investment risk while acting for the environment. Find out more, for example from the Apere ASBL (Cooperatives for Renewable Energy) or contact producers, such as Luminus (Lumiwind cooperative).
What traces does a wind turbine leave when it is no longer in operation?
The wind turbine is usually dismantled at the end of its operating period. At the end of its operation, the company responsible for the wind turbine is obliged to restore the plot of land to its original state.
How can I get more information?
The 3B project team is always available. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible for us to organise meetings and presentations as we would have liked. We have therefore designed this web page to enable you to contact us easily (contact form below) with your questions or comments. You can also reach us by telephone on +32 (0)87 692406.